Certeon makes a case for virtualized WAN acceleration

Certeon highlights aCelera’s scalability features with performance tests by The Tolly Group

Certeon is making a case for virtual software appliances and encouraging a migration away from proprietary hardware for WAN optimization and application acceleration.

Virtualization is having an impact on nearly every part of enterprise IT, including WAN optimization and application acceleration. In that market, Certeon is among a handful of vendors that advocate virtual software appliances – and a migration away from proprietary hardware platforms.

Certeon’s aCelera appliance delivers WAN optimization and application acceleration capabilities in a software package that can be deployed on standard servers running virtual machine operating systems such as Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESX/ESXi. No proprietary hardware is required. (Similarly, its aCelera Sync backup and replication acceleration software is installed as a virtual appliance to provide disaster recovery over the WAN.)

Most recently, Certeon highlighted aCelera’s scalability features, using the results of performance tests by independent testing firm The Tolly Group.

The Tolly Group tests found Certeon’s aCelera Virtual Appliance software could sustain 3,500 concurrent accelerated TCP connections over a T1 link. At the same time, aCelera reduced file transfer times, using data compression and de-duplication of network traffic, by up to 99% over a high latency WAN.

To test application times for remote employees, Tolly engineers simulated a scenario in which a remote network downloaded a mixture of large text files from a data center server. In the first pass, aCelera cut response times by up to 90% over the baseline scenario. Once the data was stored and indexed, Certeon’s second pass achieved reductions of up to 99%.

The Tolly Group tested Certeon’s aCelera software appliance running on a VMware ESX 3i virtualization platform on a Dell PowerEdge 1950 rack server. All files were tested on simulated WAN links consisting of 1 1.5 Mbps T1 links with 200 ms of round-trip latency.

With this configuration and 3,500 concurrent connections, “at no time did the utilization of these CPU and memory resources exceed 30% of the available resources,” says Gareth Taube, vice president of marketing. “There’s enough horsepower and memory left for you to add a couple more virtual machine applications to that box. And that’s really at the heart of why scalability is important to end users. With our product, 70% of the server resources are available for other applications.”

“To go above the 3,500 concurrent connections, all you have to do is spawn another image of aCelera on the same box,” Taube adds.

On the cost front, Certeon says its virtual appliance can enable 50% more sustained accelerated network connections at greater than 60% less cost than proprietary hardware appliances.

In particular, Certeon emphasizes that its platform gives enterprises the flexibility to grow the number of connections and users supported over optimized WANs without having to perform forklift upgrades to hardware. Certeon’s aCelera software can scale linearly as more resources (CPU, memory and disk) are added, for instance.

“With the increasing popularity of virtualization, Certeon’s aCelera Virtual Appliance delivers a software application acceleration platform that can reduce hardware footprint and offer significant scalability advantages on industry-standard server hardware,” said Kishore Kalidindi of The Tolly Group in a statement. “Test results show that the aCelera virtual appliance can be implemented as a high performance application acceleration solution that can be scaled as needed, rather than a purpose built hardware appliance.”

The Tolly Group report is available here

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.