WAN optimization has traditionally been a costly, hardware-heavy solution. Because of the cost and complexities of deployment, it has mostly been a solution for large companies with big budgets. Aryaka offers WAN Optimization as a Service, so now any size company with remote locations can benefit from accelerated access to enterprise or even cloud-hosted SaaS applications.
Magnum Semiconductor provides hardware, software and intellectual property for the professional broadcast infrastructure market. This company is a fairly typical example of today’s small manufacturer and service provider in that its operations are global. Headquartered in Milpitas, California, Magnum has sales and engineering offices in Canada, Europe, China and Korea. Though the primary software development center is in Canada, the majority of Magnum’s employees are in Beijing, China.
Being spread out across the globe represents a pain point for the company. According to IT Director Shyam Gokalgandhi, employees in the remote locations outside of California complained of slow access to critical data and applications over the public Internet. This led the company to look at various solutions for WAN optimization and application acceleration.
Gokalgandhi says they started by looking at traditional on-premise optimization solutions from Cisco and Riverbed. The team rejected those because of the high up-front costs of acquisition and deployment of the hardware, the need to perform ongoing appliance maintenance and upgrades, and the need for skilled IT professionals at remote sites.
Magnum Semiconductor ultimately chose the WAN Optimization as a Service solution from Aryaka Networks (www.aryaka.com). With this utility-like cloud service, Magnum was able to deploy WAN optimization quickly because they didn’t have to install any hardware. “There is no overhead,” says Gokalgandhi. “We just connected to the Aryaka sites to get up and running. Very soon our employees in Beijing noticed a remarkable difference in the speed to access email and especially our Windows file share servers—the CIFS applications. The Aryaka model is very simple and the deployment time is very short. There was very little bandwidth required from my technical team.”
Aryaka says it offers an affordable, easy-to-deploy alternative to on-premise WAN optimization appliances and an MPLS network. The company’s service is based on a global network of distributed PoPs and provides application acceleration proxies for “chatty” protocols like CIFS and MAPI, data deduplication and compression for bandwidth scaling, and a specialized multi-segment approach to TCP optimization. Aryaka’s WAN Optimization as a Service also guarantees bandwidth and improved performance of rich media applications such as videoconferencing and IP applications.The service is said to help businesses speed traffic to branch offices, accelerate application performance for mobile workers and even speed up SaaS- and IP-based applications. Best of all, there’s no hardware to buy or maintain, so now even smaller companies can realize the benefits without having to make a costly investment in hardware and an MPLS network.
Aryaka’s services have been generally available for about two years and the company says it has hundreds of customers. CEO Ajit Gupta says they started out serving SMBs that could not afford traditional WAN optimization and application acceleration solutions but have signed on large customers as well. “The big companies start off making us a backup solution to their on-premise appliances, and then once they are confident we can deliver the service level they need, they make us their primary network,” says Gupta. “Our top ten customers have hundreds of locations around the world.”
In the April 2013 Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization Controllers, Gartner placed Aryaka in the “Visionaries” category, citing the simplified deployment model that reduces the cost of deploying a business-class global WAN. But more than that, Aryaka democratizes access to applications. Remote locations – even those with just a few people – no longer have to be second-class citizens when it comes to accessing enterprise applications. With Aryaka, companies can provide faster access to applications for everyone no matter where they are located, and that makes everyone more productive.
Linda Musthaler (LMusthaler@essential-iws.com) is a Principal Analyst with Essential Solutions Corp. which researches the practical value of information technology and how it can make individual workers and entire organizations more productive. Essential Solutions offers consulting services to computer industry and corporate clients to help define and fulfill the potential of IT.