Data reduction speeds WANs

* Disk-based data reduction is the newest WAN-acceleration technology

Data reduction speeds WANs

By Jeff Aaron and David Hughes

Various technologies have emerged aimed at improving application performance over enterprise WANs. Though helpful, solutions such as compression, QoS and wide-area file services don't offer large enough performance gains across a wide spectrum of applications, making their costs difficult to justify for larger deployments.

Disk-based data reduction is the newest WAN-acceleration technology that has emerged to help solve the performance, breadth and scale limitations that have plagued earlier technologies. It works on a simple premise - the most efficient way to accelerate the transfer of information across the WAN is to not send it in the first place. This provides significant benefits in the form of increased WAN bandwidth efficiency and reduces application response time.

To employ disk-based data reduction, a WAN-acceleration appliance is deployed in each location, such as a branch office or data center. The appliances examine all information traveling in and out of a WAN, "fingerprinting" the information and storing a copy, or instance, of the data on local hard drives.

During the fingerprinting process, pattern-matching technology is used to see whether the data being transferred matches data stored on a local drive at the destination. If the remote appliance has already stored the information, there is no need to resend it over the WAN. Instead, instructions are sent to deliver the data locally. This entire process takes place independent of normal client/server communications, ensuring that the most up-to-date data is always delivered in real time.

For more on this story, please click here.

Aaron is director of product marketing, and Hughes is CTO and founder of Silver Peak Systems. They can be reached at and, respectively.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

The 10 most powerful companies in enterprise networking 2022