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June 06, 2011

Appliance Deployment's Two Primary Use Cases, Vendors Outlined

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

WAN optimization vendors are among those migrating hardware-based network appliances into the virtual environment, according to appliance deployment industry observer Michael Brandenburg who notes that virtual appliances can not only reduce hardware appliances in the data center, but these appliance deployments can also occur in places not accessible to physical appliances.

Brandenburg explains that for appliance deployment vendors, there are basically two primary use cases for deploying virtual WAN optimization appliances in a network. The first being the branch-in-a-box scenario, which is when engineers can deploy WAN optimization with multiple other network services, such as IP address management (IPAM), routing, or as a virtual machine, where virtual WAN optimization appliances are able to migrate with the applications they support.

Recently, TMCnet explained appliance deployment to its readers, noting that appliance platforms “provide software vendors with an option to deploy their applications as either physical, virtual or hybrid for private, public and mixed environments.”

Brandenburg then provided a highly useful rundown of some of the major players in the appliance deployment space, summarized here:

·         WAN optimization vendor Certeon (News - Alert) offers only virtual appliances. Its aCelera product supports both Microsoft’s Hyper-V and VMware’s ESX and ESXi platforms. Enterprises can deploy aCelera Client software on a server or a branch-in-a-box deployment. It can also run on individual workstations to optimize traffic for teleworker applications.

·         Cisco (News - Alert) Systems offers Virtual Wide Area Application Services, a virtual edition of its WAAS hardware appliance. The vWAAS supports VMware’s ESX and ESXi hypervisors, as well as integrates with Cisco’s Nexus 1000v virtual switch, to maintain an association with virtual machines as they move through the virtual environment.

·         Citrix Systems (News - Alert) offers a version of its Branch Repeater product as a virtual appliance. Branch Repeater VPX supports WAN traffic from 2 to 45 Mbps in both XenServer and VMware vSphere environments.

·         Expand Networks' (News - Alert) Virtual Accelerator supports up to 250 Mbps of optimized WAN traffic under a VMware environment and integrates into the hypervisor’s management and provisioning tools. Expand also touts its high-availability options.

·         F5 Networks (News - Alert) offers a WAN optimization module with its virtual application delivery controller, the BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager Virtual Edition. This BIG-IP virtual WAN Optimization Module can support up to 50 Mbps of WAN traffic.  

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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