Certeon is the application performance company. aCelera, Certeon’s suite of software WAN optimization products, delivers automated secure and optimized access to centralized applications for any user, accessing any application, on any device, across any network.
With Certeon, enterprises and cloud providers successfully realize key initiatives, including consolidation, virtualization, replication and application SLA’s. Certeon’s aCelera is the only software-based product that is hypervisor agnostic, hardware agnostic and cost effective. aCelera’s ability to provide automated, secure and optimized access to centralized applications at the lowest possible TCO make aCelera a cornerstone of enterprise and cloud-provider infrastructures.
In 2008, Certeon shifted from a hardware-based solution to a software-only approach. The company re-architected the aCelera product platform from scratch to focus on optimizing all applications running over the WAN. As a software-based solution, it now provides optimal performance flexibility and TCO reduction.
Today, I’ll be interviewing Donato Buccella, CTO and VP of engineering at Certeon.
Can you please explain what WAN optimization is? Can you provide some real-life examples?
WAN optimization is a phrase used to describe products that optimize access to applications via the WAN when users are remote and that application server has been centralized. Some of the specific techniques used in WAN optimization include data deduplication, compression and protocol optimization. WAN optimization can be used for many initiatives, including optimizing access to applications like SharePoint, reducing back up and replication times, and more.
A specific example of WAN optimization is Certeon’s customer Pathfinder, who uses the aCelera software-based WAN optimization solution to enhance global communications. Pathfinder has close to 900 employees globally, across more than 40 offices in 24 countries – all of whom need access to optimized application performance. aCelera has increased Pathfinder’s application performance dramatically across all its applications, from finance and data to communications and file sharing.
An example of reducing replication and backup is our customer, HellermannTyton, which is using aCelera to optimize its global manufacturing business. Business continuity processes such as backup and replication are often crippled over the Wide Area Network (WAN) leaving most organizations to throw bandwidth at the problem. HellermannTyton instead chose to deploy Certeon’s software solution to cut its replication window times from 13 hours to less than one hour.
What should companies look for when evaluating WAN optimization solutions?
WAN optimization should not be considered as a point solution to solve pain at a couple of remote sites; instead it should be thought of a strategic initiative for the entire infrastructure.
When deployed across organization, CIOs and IT administrators will no longer have to worry where the data is and where the users are. Data will be available instantly at LAN like speeds from anywhere in the world.
Given that, the right WAN solution should:
- Be a best of breed WAN optimization and application acceleration technology that delivers the best application acceleration performance and data reduction
- Have a cost that is value based such that enterprises and cloud providers can afford to deploy it at every point of access in the network.
- Be scalable to be installed in the largest enterprise or a cloud provider’s infrastructure.
- Support all use cases:
- Mobile User
- Be future proof to grow in capacity as an organization’s needs increase
- Be extendable to cloud provider networks as you leverage those
How is the new trend towards global business – including the trend towards distributed teams – changing the way companies work with their WAN optimization solutions?
Cloud services look like a $100 billion-plus opportunity by mid decade, but is cloud computing worth this level of excitement? Think, Internet 1997. Companies were excited about the technology potential and worried about security, privacy, bandwidth, standards and more. In spite of those questions, what transformed communication and commerce? The ability to deliver Business value!
In 2010 and beyond, cloud successes will be measured in business value. The units of measure will be the ability to increase business agility, decrease cost through on-demand provisioning and teardown of infrastructure and services, speed development, and improved reliability. It must be utility-based, self-service, secure and most importantly, have levels of application performance that improve productivity. With as many as 90 percent of workers scattered across the globe, away from datacenter sources of information, their teammates and management, user adoption of collaboration applications and its centralized data is the linchpin of any business value equation.
Cloud success requires integrating network services that are very far away and often owned by strangers.
Leveraging cloud computing and maximizing its business value requires full-featured, scalable, high-performance WAN optimization software that allows applications to perform as expected, and can be part of any organizations’ on demand architecture, rather than part of a farm of tactical hardware or limited virtual appliance solutions.
Business information and resources are increasingly being accessed at global scale distances, from enterprise and cloud sources using Internet or VPN or MPLS connections. At the same time, expectations for application performance remain the same and are even rising.
Enterprises embracing the cost and scalability benefits of cloud computing and service providers delivering consumption, utility-based models, balance the need for security and user expectations 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.
Bottom line: the success of cloud computing is irreversibly linked to software-based WAN optimization and application acceleration technologies as the result of distance induced latency and the need to provide ad-hoc secure and multi-tenant access. aCelera software WAN optimization’s ability to provide secure access, application performance and global scale make it the ideal cornerstone of cloud environments, from private to public to hybrid.
Why should companies implement application acceleration? Why not just continue working same way as always, with the aid of a remote collaboration system such as SharePoint?
Enterprises must align their IT infrastructure with their business strategy. As such, the ability to provide agility, contain IT costs and deal with regulatory changes, means adopting a number of initiatives, including:
- Consolidating hardware and centralizing data centers
- Increasing globalization with more telecommuters, road warriors and other remote workers
- Transitioning to network based backup and disaster recovery network replication
- Leveraging public cloud services
All of these initiatives are ultimately moving end users further away from the applications they need to do their everyday job. While applications like SharePoint are certainly a way to aid in remote collaboration, they get so bogged down with data that communicating over the WAN and storing the information become an extremely slow process.
This in turn decreases employee productivity, ultimately affecting a company’s bottom line. Application acceleration helps companies to successfully take on those business agility initiatives.
Anything else you’d like to add?
WAN optimization is particularly important as more and more companies leverage the cloud. Resources will increasingly be accessed across the Internet or virtual private WAN clouds; and expectations for application performance will increase. Enterprises that embrace the cost and scalability benefits of cloud computing must simultaneously continue to meet standards for employee productivity 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.
The key to deriving value from WAN optimization in cloud environments is to integrate it with the underlying physical infrastructure and virtualization. It 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 on a virtual machine.