A few weeks back I highlighted a report from VCE about our virtual WAAS (vWAAS) WAN optimization solution running on the Vblock platform. Now comes a new case study of a vWAAS deployment at Georgetown, Kentucky-based Toyota Tsusho America, Inc. (TAI). For the Georgetown data center, TAI decided on vWAAS rather than WAAS appliances. The detailed case study is a compelling argument for virtualizing WAN optimization for improved high-availability and more streamlined operations.
“We were an early adopter of vWAAS,” says Chris Jones, TAI Manager of Infrastructure and Operations, “and we perceived value in placing WAN optimization close to the data rather than near the WAN edge. In particular, we felt we could have lower-cost high availability (HA) for WAN optimization by leveraging the Vblock HA. And we perceived operational simplicity in the event of failure, compared with replacing a physical appliance and rebuilding the cache.”
The Vblock platforms include SAN storage for fast I/O, along with extensive redundancy features for high availability. vWAAS can leverage the SAN for Data Redundancy Elimination (DRE), the mechanism that delivers much of application acceleration and bandwidth reduction. DRE builds application-aware caches of data, and small tokens replace redundant data on the WAN. At TAI, WAN optimization performance becomes fault-tolerant: Upon any failure, a new vWAAS instance can utilize the existing cache stored on the SAN.
TAI then focused on the 18 of 36 sites in North America that were approaching the limitations of the T-1 circuits that connected them to the private MPLS network serving TAI and its subsidiaries. TAI’s deployment right-sizes WAAS appliances for each site. The largest branch site, New York City, utilizes a Wide Area Engine (WAE) 674 appliance. Other branch sites use Wide Area Virtualization Engine (WAVE) 274 appliances. Most branch appliances are deployed in line for simplicity. “It’s pretty easy, just a matter of getting them out there and walking an end user through a very quick wiring change. The simplicity saved us a significant amount of costs associated with sending an IT resource onsite,” says Jones.
TAI expects to see the return on investment (ROI) within a year. With WAAS, TAI avoided the US$8000 per year per site additional recurring costs, reduced email traffic to its largest location by more than 65 percent, and deferred for the foreseeable future expensive bandwidth upgrades at many of its locations. And TAI generally prefers capital investments in solutions rather than increasing operational expenditures, in particular if the ROI is so fast. “ROI in a year is a pretty strong business proposition,” says Jones.
HTTP response times improved consistently in the 35-40% range, further enhancing user productivity. You can read more about the TAI deployment, their application environment and other business benefits they expect from the vWAAS deployment here.