Many companies are rapidly evolving toward cloud computing, though from different starting points and not without debate as to the best direction or computing model. For example, advocates of public cloud computing sometimes advise not owning any software or hardware or employing any IT administrators and instead relying on professional providers of IT applications, platforms, infrastructure, and services.
On the other side of the debate are those who have spent years building IT infrastructures, whose concerns must be addressed since reliability, security, SLAs, and interoperability will determine the success of the various cloud computing models within the enterprise.
WAN optimization technology is becoming more strategic to application delivery as IT organizations become more dependent on the WAN for delivery of applications and services to remote users. In initial trials many IT organizations deployed this technology to a few key locations to solve bandwidth or latency challenges. The main selection criteria were around the core features such as data compression and application response time improvements. These days IT organizations realize that WAN Optimization is an integral part of an application delivery network and they realize that they need to look beyond the original selection criteria and consider how it fits in their network architecture when planning a network-wide deployment. Let’s take a look at some of the important considerations when choosing a solution for improving application delivery.
Early WAN Optimization solutions delivered applications over tunnels that obscured traffic from reporting and monitoring tools. These days IT organizations need a solution that is transparent to the network and doesn’t interfere with routing architectures and doesn’t interfere with services and security on the network.
When comparing your options in WAN optimization controllers you might be hearing conflicting claims about key features and architectures that can make it difficult to figure out what makes one product better than another. Most products on the market today are mature and have a competitive feature set. Core features such as compression, caching and TCP acceleration are a given for a product to get on the short list. The performance between products on core features might be similar in routine tests so making a choice could be difficult, but there might be other things to consider that are not so obvious that might really make a difference in how a product works for you.
Consider for example how stable a device is under a heavy load. It is one thing for a device to perform well under an average load, or even to operate reliably near the rated load, which most equipment can do, however do you know how a device will work under a heavy load that bursts up over the rated capacity? Will it stand up to the load or will it block traffic and take a long time to recover?
I am happy to share that the Cisco Unified Computing System was just awarded Gold Award in the “Hardware for Virtualization” category at the Best of VMworld 2009 Awards. The system represents a lot of hardwork and commitment from a large number of folks and we truly appreciate the industry recognition. Thank you.