Silver Peak irons out WAN creases

Silver Peak irons out WAN creases

WAN acceleration provider Silver Peak upgrades its appliance firmware

WAN acceleration specialist Silver Peak has upgraded its appliance firmware to address enterprise issues such as packet loss.

The new optimisation features minimise the effects of lost packets, packets arriving in the wrong order and network flow restrictions. Silver Peak's vice president for product marketing Jeff Aaron, said, “Packet delivery is an increasing issue for enterprises, and it can be a ‘silent killer’, especially during data backups and replication.”

Aaron explained that Silver Peak was addressing WAN optimisation in three ways. Firstly, application acceleration by overcoming excessive ‘chattiness’ in the protocol used by the application, secondly making data easier to transport t- therefore better utilising bandwidth reduction techniques like compression, and finally network optimisation, a way of overcoming problems inherent to WANs.

It is the third technique that Silver Peak hopes to tackle with its firmware upgrade. “Application acceleration and data reduction won’t work if you don’t fix the problems in the WAN itself. You can put a big, fast engine in your car, and add as many motorway lanes as possible, but if you don’t fix the potholes in the road, you’re not going to get to your location quickly,” explained Aaron.

The ‘potholes’ in this case are lost and out of order packets. Non-real time traffic can re-transmit if packet loss occurs and with email and similar applications this would not be critical. Real time applications however like IP voice can not retransmit.

Silver Peak is addressing the lost packet problem by using dynamic forward error correction (FEC) which means lost packets are reconstituted in real time at the far end of the WAN link. Packet order correction (POC) is used to re-sequence out-of-order packets on the far end of the WAN link. Finally Silver Peak use packet striping to send packets over multiple IP links to allow for bottlenecks in router and firewall systems.