Advances in today’s virtual technologies have made deciding between the two form factors more difficult. When virtual WOCs (vWOCs) first entered the market, the technology accelerated data more slowly than their physical counterparts—but that’s beginning to change.
The decision between hardware and software WAN optimizers has become less of a question about speed, and more of a tradeoff between scalability and throughput. It also becomes a question of how familiar IT professionals are with virtual technology. If someone isn’t familiar with a virtual machine or server, then a software WOC could be more trouble than it’s worth.
Nemertes principal analyst John Burke breaks down the hardware vs. software debate this way:
IT needs to balance throughput requirements against scalability, infrastructure availability, and your desire to neatly modularize network functions. Where IT would have to deploy virtual machine hosts in places it did not otherwise plan to, a virtual WAN optimization appliance is not recommended. Where capacity is available and IT wants to spread WAN optimization widely, virtualization has more to recommend it.
To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of hardware and software WAN optimizers, read Burke’s article on SearchEnterpriseWAN.com.]]>
According to a survey of 1,197 VMworld 2010 attendees conducted by storage vendor Xiotech and WAN optimization vendor Silver Peak, 55% of respondents said they would deploy VDI outside of a LAN. Of those attendees 22% would do so over private WAN, 27% over virtual private networks (VPNs) and 6% over a third-party or cloud computing infrastructure. That’s almost a quarter of networking professionals who are in for a surge of “the network is slow” phone calls after implementing virtual desktop infrastructure over their enterprise wide area network.
Although latency is unavoidable, this doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do to make virtual desktop infrastructure perform better over the WAN or that businesses should forgo the idea altogether. Eugene Alfaro, manager of global IT operations and support at Simpson Manufacturing Company, Inc., has been working with virtual desktop infrastructure over the WAN for several years and has found a way to make users satisfied with VoIP performance. To learn his tips and tricks, read VDI over the WAN: How latency affects virtual desktop performance.]]>