WAN optimization has finally made the leap into the cloud. Value added network services provider Virtela, which has long offered customer premises-based managed application acceleration services using dual-ended solutions from the likes of Riverbed and others, announced today a cloud-based version of its acceleration service. At a cost of five dollars per site per day, this is good news for multinational companies that need to accelerate traffic to and from secondary sites that don't warrant the cost of an on-premises solution.
We commend Virtela for its new offering, which, as far as we know is the first WAN optimization service in the cloud to use the standard dual-ended WAN optimization vendor lineup. Customers can select their preferred WAN optimization vendor, so the solution works with whatever WAN optimization box you already have in your data center. The service is delivered over what Virtela calls its Enterprise Services Cloud (ESC). Virtela also plans to deliver cloud-based security and mobility services over its Enterprise Service Cloud later this year. Like most of its other services, the cloud-based acceleration service is available as a standalone service distinct from Virtela's other offerings.
Virtela has incorporated a novel "response time experience guarantee" into its new service. If your users don't notice application response times are faster, you don't pay for the services--plus Virtela will pay you 250% of the service charge. So if your users don't perceive better performance, you get your money back and then some. It sounds simple, if a bit squishy.
Results from an in-the-cloud service will not be as good as a CPE-based solution, but for secondary sites, the price/performance tradeoff is likely to be compelling. Our only question for Virtela is--what took you so long?