The WAN acceleration market is saturated, and I expect to see consolidation in the near future. Even so, after inviting several WAN acceleration vendors to participate in an eWEEK Labs evaluation of the technology, only two stood up for the challenge: Riverbed Technology and Blue Coat Systems.
Im far from finished testing solutions from these vendors—Steelhead appliances (2020 and 1020) and the SG800, respectively—but so far, so good.
During past tests of WAN acceleration systems, Ive used a PC running NIST Net, a Linux-based network emulator from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This time around, Im using 1U Rings Network Nightmare WAN simulator to control my test environment.
One of the key things I will be looking for in the products under test is the ability to increase the efficiency of third-party replication solutions. I will be measuring this ability using Double-Take replication software to mirror data volumes across the simulated WAN.
I will monitor the completion times for replication jobs, as well as the total bandwidth savings provided by each WAN acceleration solution.
For the final results of my WAN acceleration test, check out the June 26/July 3 issue and eweek.com.
eWEEK Labs Senior Analyst Henry Baltazar can be reached at [email protected]