There are a number of important differences between a LAN and WAN. For one, Jumbo Frames are common on enterprise LANs, but are not on the WAN.
WAN acceleration vendor SilverPeak is aiming to narrow the Jumbo sized gap with the latest version of its core VXOA software. Silver Peak's Virtual Acceleration Open Architecture (VXOA) was first announced in July of 2011 as a way to deliver software based WAN acceleration capabilities.
Rick Tinsley, president and CEO of Silver Peak explained to EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet that a lot of his business now is about accelerating replication for storage.
"Most systems can replicate faster if they can use Jumbo Frames," Tinsley said.
An Ethernet Jumbo Frame is a packet size that can be up to 9,000 bytes. In contrast, normal Ethernet frames that traverse a WAN are only 1,500 bytes or less in size.
"We've added the capability to essentially translate large Jumbo Frames from the local side in a data center, chop them up into 1,500 byte packets for the WAN and then reassemble them into the larger frames on the other side," Tinsley said.
As such, two storage arrays, in two different data centers will be able to communicate with each other with Jumbo Frames. According to Tinsley, storage arrays that are enabled for Jumbo Frames typically run 50 percent faster.
"So in addition to the traditional WAN impairments of latency, bandwidth and packet loss, now we're also dealing with this requirement of packet sizes, allowing storage applications to run much faster," Tinsley said.
From an architectural point of view, Tinsley noted that his company is very good at packet processing. He added that for most applications there isn't a bandwidth limitation but rather a packet per second processing limitation.
"There is a lot of overhead typically associated with handling each packet regardless of the size of the packet," Tinsley said. "So if you can deal with larger packets, software will run faster."
In addition to the VXOA 6.0 release, Silver Peak is updating its Global Management System (GMS).
"GMS is our system for managing a large collection of Silver Peak devices in terms of configuration, visibility and reporting," Tinsley said.
The system has now been re-written as an HTML5 platform enabling management from both desktop and mobile devices. Tinsley noted that previously GMS was Java based.
"So now GMS can work on anything with a web browser and that is the power of HTML5," Tinsley said.