Silver Peak Systems introduced Aug. 20 an integration with VMware vCenter that will enable virtualization managers to add workload acceleration in a point-and-click operation. The work is part of the Silver Peak “Agility” technology initiative and is slated to be extended to other virtualization platforms. You can see a video overview of the technology here.
At its core, the Agility initiative is shifting WANop instantiation from the networking staff to the virtualization managers. In environments where the basic physical networking setup is already in place, using the Silver Peak management integration eliminates additional hardware configuration changes. As outlined to me during a preannouncement briefing, Silver Peak adds a tab to the VMware vCenter console that will enable virtualization managers to spin up workload WAN optimization.
While I’m all in favor of putting this kind of performance optimization into the hands of virtualization managers, I would like to see more work done to ensure that “WANop sprawl” is nipped in the bud. The laws of physics still apply to WANs. It is easy to see how turning on WANop for individual workloads could spill over into provisioning problems that leave workloads fighting each other for network resources.
The technology behind the announcement centers on the VXOA (Silver Peak’s Virtual Acceleration Open Architecture.) As explained to me, VXOA is deployed inside a virtualization domain. Today, that primarily means using VMware vCenter to manage VXOA. A Silver Peak VM, which runs nearly identical software as Silver Peak’s physical appliances, spins up and integrates with the vDistributed switch to steer traffic to the Silver Peak VM for processing.
In conversation with Rick Tinsley, Silver Peak’s CEO, he explained that the company has been working with Nicira, which was acquired by VMware July 23. IT managers should anticipate that with the Nicira acquisition, and the subsequent boost to software defined networking (SDN), the relevance of Silver Peak’s work will take on greater significance.
The Silver Peak Agility technology will be showcased at VMworld next week (Aug. 26-Aug. 30) in San Francisco.