Monday, May 17, 2010

One more WAN Optimization company - Infineta systems

It is good to know that WAN optimization technology is attracting VC money. I believe that this market will continue to grow for few more year before it saturates. Though some research reports place this market to be at $5 billion by end of 2014,  but I feel that this is much more than this. Any organization having multiple branch offices with consolidated central servers benefit from the WAN optimization.

Okay.  Coming to Infineta.  What is different about this technology compared to existing WAN optimization?  I tried going through the Forrester report.  Finally it all coming down to 'performance'.   According to this report existing WAN optimization products peak at 1Gbps and Infineta systems performance seems to be in terms of multiples of Gbps upto 10Gbps.  According to this report, this kind of performance is required to connect data centers of a given organization.  Reasons given for this kind of performance are:

  • Replication, Mirroring,  Backup of data and VM images among Data centers for reasons such as Business continuity/Disaster-recovery. 
  • Amount of data exceeding perabytes.
  • Reducing latency of above operations.
According to job descriptions, it is clear that they are using multi-core processors and FPGAs. I did not find any mention of hard disk capacity.  I have a feeling that persistent storage is not used.  It would be difficult to achieve multiple of Gbps throughput with disk access.  If that it the case, it is interesting to know how the efficiency of de-dup is compared with other established WAN optimization vendors. 
  • Amount of DDR memory.  This directly would be proportional to dedup efficiency.  Larger the amount of memory,  higher the dedup efficiency  would be. Without hard drive capability, storage would be limited and it may have difficult time to achieve the de-dup efficiency compared to others in the market, in my view.
  • Lost of cached blocks across power restarts.  If there is no persistent memory, data that was stored in the DDR memory would be lost across power cycles or when the system it taken out for maintenance. This requires rebuilding of the data cache again.  This will reduce de-dup efficiency right after power recycle.

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