Although EMC and Silver Peak Systems have been playing pat-a-cake for a couple of years now, with the latter making its WAN optimization appliances - physical and virtual - and management tools available through EMC's Select information infrastructure program, the companies took things a step further today by announcing the integration of Silver Peak's technology with EMC's VPLEX Geo storage federation technology.
I'll admit to being somewhat standoffish when WAN optimization tools have been pitched to me in the past. After all, their use in point-to-point solutions has been valuable in branch office and colocation scenarios, but until the rise of the cloud over the last five years, they've been something less than integral to the operation of a business.
Today, that's no longer the case, and EMC's use of Silver Peak's "secret sauce" in its cloud storage recipe is a wise move. Silver Peak claims that its technology can cut bandwidth requirements by 95 percent, and slash WAN costs to a tenth of what they were. Even if I apply my one-fifth rule - where the claims of "up to X" better/fast/cheaper work out in the real world to about 20 percent of what the vendor says is possible - that's still pretty significant. That's because for storage, perhaps more than any other cloud-based service, latency is a killer and there's almost never such a thing as overprovisioning.