Silver Peak builds WAN optimization directly into major hypervisors

CEO credits virtual switch support for new Agility feature

WAN optimization vendor Silver Peak announced today that it has integrated its virtual open architecture product directly into VMware vSphere, allowing IT staff who aren't directly involved with the network layer to interact with it via the hypervisor console.

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The company will demonstrate the new Agility plug-in feature on Monday at VMworld, and plans a retail release sometime before the end of the year -- after final integration work is complete on VMware's end.

The new functionality is dependent on virtual switch technology, CEO Rick Tinsley says. VMware's acquisition of Nicera for just such a feature allowed Silver Peak's work on Agility to move forward.

"I can't tell you how thrilled we were when we realized that VMware was purchasing them, because this work that we've been doing, sort of just as a demo or proof-of-concept, instantly became extraordinarily relevant," Tinsley says.

Along with vSphere, Agility will be available as a plug-in for Xen, KVM and Hyper-V -- and support for additional hypervisors could be added later, according to Tinsley.

"Our core product is the same, regardless of which hypervisor it runs on," he says. "The changes that we need to make to enable our product to work, let's say, in a Xen or a Hyper-V environment versus a VMware environment [are] relatively modest packaging and interface changes."

What's more, he adds, no physical interaction with the network layer is needed, and only one instance of Agility-enabled VXOA is required per physical machine for functionality.

"This does not require any changes to the physical network infrastructure. You don't have to go type any new commands or configure anything on the physical routers or switches that are in that data center. It's all handled within the virtual world," Tinsley says.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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