Beam Me Up, Scotty

There is hardly anything more compelling than the idea of being transported virtually from one location to another the way people and objects were in the Star Trek television series. Think of the money, time, and hassle it would save, let alone the fact that it’s such a cool idea.

The fictional Star Trek Enterprise transporter that dematerialized things, “beamed” them to a target, and then rematerialized them has, in a sense, actually became a reality. The virtualization of IT infrastructure, and in particular WAN optimizers, are the latest technologies to take advantage of this amazingly beneficial capability.

Virtual WAN Optimization Controllers (vWOCs) can be deployed in one location, or for an application — say, for replicating big data to a back-up site — and then virtually redeployed at a different location, for a completely different application. Rather than purchasing a WAN optimizer for every data center, you can re-purpose a virtual WAN optimizer license for multiple locations.

Just think of the savings in shipping costs alone by not physically transporting hardware from one location to another. With a vWOC you can also avoid customs fees by not shipping hardware-based WOCs overseas.

Virtual WAN optimizers address the challenges of scaling application delivery and eliminating the need for additional dedicated hardware, while reducing complexity, administration, maintenance, and support time and costs.

Data center-class vWOCs can be deployed on any platform that meets the vendor’s minimum system requirements. Examples of platforms where vWOCs can be implemented include existing servers, storage arrays, and blades within routers and multi-function devices.

Virtual WAN optimization enables enterprises and service providers to cost-efficiently and flexibly deliver applications reliably over the WAN. They are able to dynamically leverage the performance of standard CPUs, general-purpose hardware, and diverse hypervisors to provide IT in an organization of any size, with flexible and high-performance options for deploying WAN optimization on almost any platform.

While we have yet to see people physically transported, we can certainly take advantage of the many benefits that virtual WAN optimizers provide. Perhaps we can be ‘virtually’ transported vicariously through our IT technology. “Live long and prosper”.

Image credit: Wolfgang Lonien (flickr)

About the author
Marc Goodman