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Certeon: What 2012 Means for WAN Optimization

 

What do Virtualization and Cloud executives think about 2012? Find out in this VMblog.com series exclusive.

What 2012 Means for WAN Optimization

Contributed Article by Shawn Cooney, co-founder, Certeon

For 2012 we have a pressure cooker - a mature WAN networking industry with billions of market cap tied up in it, battling it out over a well-known set of capabilities simmering in the pot. Customer demand is cranking up the heat, as cloud requirements for WAN optimization shift from proprietary network hardware to flexible, scalable and virtualized software implementations. 

WAN optimization has become part of the everyday life of the enterprise networking; however, most vendors have not embraced, or have half-heartedly embraced virtualization and cloud computing. Many WAN optimization vendors have acted with myopic self interest, doing as little as possible to bring their 20th century networking products into the 21st century. 

The use of WAN optimization in cloud environments is not even a blip on the radar screen, but the need for WAN optimization will become abundantly clear as business managers utilize more and more services within the cloud. Resources will increasingly be accessed across the Internet or virtual private WAN clouds; and expectations for application performance will either stay constant or rise. Enterprises embracing the cost and scalability benefits of cloud computing must simultaneously continue to meet employee standards for access and application performance. Users don't care if the resource is in a cloud or on the moon; they expect their applications to work quickly and flawlessly.

Catching up with virtualization 

Over the last year, most WAN optimization vendors have been playing catch-up with virtualization, and as a result could not even present a case for being used in a cloud environment, private or public. They are still wrestling with virtualization, addressing it from their strength - selling proprietary hardware. Some vendors have crammed a virtualization layer into their proprietary appliances and claimed victory. This approach to virtualization creates a castaway technology - islands of virtualization capabilities surrounded in a sea of proprietary technology. Proprietary appliance hardware and software with hosted virtualization is not scalable, elastic, meter-able, service-based, virtual, or on-demand. It does not stand up to anyone's definition of a cloud service. Vendors will accelerate the "cloud washing" of ill-conceived strategies and incomplete virtual WAN optimization products. 

What's a cloud adopter to do?

Most WAN optimization solutions are stable and hard to tell apart when focusing on just performance improvement and "plumbing." If you want to know how a system might fit into a cloud service strategy, it requires looking below the surface at those basic elements or resources (system, software, storage, management, connectivity, etc.), which combine to make up flexible, agile, and virtualized enterprise infrastructures capable of connecting to cloud resources. 

The key to deriving value from WAN optimization in cloud environments is to integrate it with the underlying virtualized infrastructure.

Ask yourself: 

1. "How can I deliver corporate information to my users as a seamless service?" 

2. "Can I implement, scale, and manage WAN optimization like any other service?"

3. "Does my WAN optimization solution truly leverage the benefits of virtualization?" 

Putting it another way: we believe that WAN optimization needs to be part of an enterprise's virtualization stack in order to be cost effective and flexible enough to deliver real business value. In short, it must be software residing
in a virtual machine.

The pressure on enterprise networking is increasing as organizations usher their software, databases, storage, employees, customers, and partners into the age of cloud computing.

The bottom line:  The future of cloud computing and the efficiency of WAN optimization/application acceleration technologies are irreversibly linked. Increased WAN optimization, application performance, and scalability will be the true cornerstones of enabling virtualization and cloud computing environments in 2012. 

So, make sure that any WAN optimization product or service you are going to adopt fits into your enterprise strategies for virtualization and cloud computing. Don't be satisfied with a "the same mess for less" offering from any vendor or service provider. 

###

Published Tuesday, December 27, 2011 3:19 PM by David Marshall
Comments
VMblog Looks at How Virtualization and Cloud executives think about 2012? ??? Certeon - Cloud - Virtualization - the NEW WAN - (Author's Link) - December 29, 2011 8:49 AM
VMblog.com - Virtualization Technology News and Information for Everyone - (Author's Link) - January 4, 2012 7:05 AM

I'd like to personally welcome each and every one of you to the start of 2012! As we begin what will certainly prove to be a fantastic new year, I wanted to make sure to thank all of the loyal member's and readers of VMblog.com. Once again, with the help

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