Silver Peak squeezes into the WAN game

NX Series acceleration appliances reduce response time for a broad range of protocols

As the WAN optimization market continues to grow and evolve, new and established vendors are developing systems that accelerate previously ignored varieties of network traffic. One promising newcomer is Silver Peak Systems, whose breadth of application support impressed me in a recent demo.

Silver Peak showed me how its NX-3500 WAN acceleration appliance can improve response time over a wide range of enterprise applications that utilize bulk TCP (CIFS, MAPI) and UDP (NFS, TFTP) as the transports. Other applications supported are real-time and streaming data (such as VoIP and video), Citrix, Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection, and SQL. Silver Peak offers three models suitable for branch offices and large datacenters. WAN capacities range from 2Mbps to 155Mbps of bandwidth capacity and as much as 2TB of raw local storage.

Much like Riverbed’s Steelhead, the Silver Peak solution fingerprints byte segments and stores them in each appliance’s local data store. When a user requests a segment that has already traveled the WAN, the data is fetched from the local cache -- only original content must be sent over the link. During the demo, I watched the NX-3500 reduce a PowerPoint file copy from a few minutes to seconds, regardless of the underlying transport.

Silver Peak has implemented hardware-based AES encryption to protect the data store, and secures communications between NX appliances using IPSec and 128-bit AES. Also impressive is Silver Peak’s reporting, which allows traffic data to be sliced and diced many different ways.

The WAN acceleration short list just got a little longer.

Silver Peak NX Series

Silver Peak Systems

Cost: Ranges from $9,995 (NX-2500) to $49,995 (NX-7500)

Available: Now