The Ten-Day Replication Job — An RPO Success Story

WaitAs a project manager at Silver Peak I have spent a lot of time working with the Dell EqualLogic team over the last 12 months, and we have some solid data on the benefits that Silver Peak provides. The full technical report from the Dell and Silver Peak testing, with performance results from the EqualLogic test lab, is available here: Silver Peak WAN Optimization and Dell EqualLogic PS Series.

But having great customer data always trumps lab data.

In my position I get to talk to a lot of customers and partners, and sometimes a customer use case pops up and really justifies all of the work that we put into our products.  Most customer stories involve large amounts of data and impressive WAN connections, but my favorite stories are the small customers. Small customers can face some interesting problems when trying to replicate. The problems facing replication are fairly well known: latency, loss, and bandwidth are the three main things that wreck replication performance. Knowing this, imagine trying to replicate over a fraction of a shared 10 Mbps link (bandwidth limit), over an Internet VPN (lots of loss and out-of-order), within the same state (ok, so latency wasn’t really a factor with this one).

This particular customer had had an 8 hour RPO, and the auto-replication job they needed to run daily was taking ten days to complete. For most storage admins, missing an RPO by 2900% is not a good thing. The admin at this company contacted Silver Peak and started a proof of concept to see if we could help. The first auto-replication job to run after the Silver Peak kit was installed took just 5.5 hours to complete — did I mention that they were missing their RPO by 2900% before? With Silver Peak they were able to reduce their RPO by 31% — not bad. The alternative to Silver Peak Replication Acceleration was to purchase more bandwidth, but at $2,500 per month this alternative was expensive, and with all of the loss and out-of-order it might not have solved the problem.

240 hours reduced to 5.5 hours. This is a win all around: Silver Peak has a happy customer, the admin can sleep at night knowing his data is protected, and the business saved the cost of a bandwidth upgrade of $30,000 for the year.

When I talk to potential customers I always end my presentation the same way: You don’t have to believe anything I have told you about today; I work for a company that is trying to sell you something. You don’t have to believe your sales rep, your SE, or even our partner, but you should try it for yourself. The proof is in the results, and when you try it you will know very quickly if Silver Peak solves your problem.


Image credit: CmdrFire (flickr) – CC-BY-NC-SA