WANjet optimizes, accelerates, shapes

Swan Labs' new WAN appliances combine techniques to save bandwidth and improve performance

Joining other WAN-acceleration vendors in the march from specialized to all-in-one products, Swan Labs’ newest line of appliances, WANJet, combines tried-and-true WAN optimization, application-layer acceleration, and traffic-shaping in a single solution. The feature-packed WANJet boxes, which include the SL400 for datacenters and the SL200 for remote locations, replace Swan’s current NetCelera products.

WANJet uses TDR (Transparent Data Reduction) to cache byte segments of files as they pass through the appliance. On subsequent transfers, only the indices for the byte segments are sent, reducing the amount of data transferred over the wire. During a recent demonstration, I was impressed by how efficiently TDR reused cached segments.

WANJet also uses a mix of generic TCP and application-specific layer 7 proxies to improve application performance. In situations where latency is a problem, WANJet can greatly improve response time by reducing the total number of TCP round-trips. For example, WANJet handles the chattiness of protocols such as CIFS at the appliance and sends only necessary requests over the WAN, reducing response time and improving application performance.

The reporting system in WANJet is comprehensive, allowing administrators to view health status and statistics in real time. It also provides historical analysis, active connections, data reduction, and pass-through traffic. Network administrators that rely on their WAN links will want to pay close attention to all the activity in the WAN-optimization space, and Swan Labs should definitely be on their watch list.

Swan Labs
Cost: Starts at $1,895 per unit (SL200 with 64Kbps license) and tops out at $100,000 per unit (DL400 with 622Mbps license)
Available: July 25