Building for a Cloudy Day

Cloud computing is among the hottest topics in the Tech industry.  Articles and blogs about cloud computing appear daily and most corporations across the globe haves at the very least looked into some form of Cloud solution with many, if not most, already investing in one.

If the chatter in the media about cloud computing isn’t enough to convince a person of its popularity, then the predictions of spending on cloud computing for the near future certainly will.  Late last year, Ian Song, senior research analyst for IDC’s Enterprise Virtualization Software program, placed global spending on Cloud initiatives in 2009 at roughly $17 billion.  He predicted this figure would rise at an average annual rate of 26 percent and reach $44.2 billion by 2013 – nearly a three-fold increase!

Another indicator of Cloud’s growth in popularity is just how much industry event time devoted to it.  We have entire tradeshows – virtual and physical – focusing on cloud computing and a week from Sunday the annual Interop Las Vegas show opens with a spate of sessions devoted to the Cloud on its docket.

In his preview of the upcoming Interop show, InformationWeek’s Mike Fratto includes several “must see” sessions focusing o not only the Cloud, but also WAN access to the Cloud.  As he accurately points out:

“One of the changes brought about by cloud computing, virtualization, and mobility is that there is more demand placed on the WAN than ever before.  Before you can use public or private cloud computing, IT has to get the data to the servers that will process it and that is adding to the load on the WAN.  Additionally, demands compete.  Bulk file transfers, which need capacity, compete against real-time voice, video, and desktop virtualization, which are time sensitive.”

With such demands placed upon the WAN by cloud computing, businesses should look to WAN optimization to improve their access to the data they place in the Cloud.

Reaching for a Cloud

Cloud services can be delivered across two types of cloud environments.  In a “private cloud,” access is restricted to specific users (e.g. via a Virtual Private Network).  In a “public cloud,” the hosted service is available to anyone.

All cloud computing initiatives, however, have one thing in common – data is centralized, while users are distributed.  This places an increased emphasis on the network, making cloud computing susceptible to the same WAN bandwidth, latency, and quality challenges that impact other enterprise applications.

WAN optimization is critical to overcoming these challenges for all cloud computing initiatives, whether the Cloud is public or private.

Silver Peak employs real-time network optimization techniques to maximize application performance across the Cloud while minimizing IT operational costs.  These techniques include:

  • Network Integrity: Silver Peak provides a variety of real-time optimization techniques to “clean up” the cloud for better effective throughput.  Advanced Quality of Service (QoS) services can prioritize traffic and guarantee that necessary bandwidth requirements are met.
  • Network Memory™: Silver Peak uses Network Memory disk-based deduplication to eliminate the transfer of duplicate information sent across the WAN when cloud-based applications are accessed.
  • Network Acceleration: Various TCP acceleration techniques help to overcome latency across a cloud infrastructure.

Recent world events have placed disaster recovery on everybody’s minds; they have placed a spotlight on the affect network access to data has on business continuity.  With cloud computing fast becoming a standard network storage solution in businesses across the globe, it stands to reason that companies need to find a solution to the usual WAN challenges by considering WAN optimization at the same time they start investigating a Cloud solution.