What most carriers, and their suppliers, don’t yet seem to understand, is that they can do better. WAN optimization has been with us for over a decade. During that period it has increased in sophistication and plummeted in cost. It used to require two boxes costing tens of thousands of dollars to optimize a link running at 10Mpbs. Today, virtual WAN optimization controllers from Replify can handle this sort of line speed while running on the new generation of micro-servers using ARM, Freescale and Atom processors, costing around US$50 per node.
Replify employs its bespoke Intelligent Caching Engine (ICE) to achieve drive this optimization, applying selective compression, appropriate identification and caching of application payload bytes and protocol specific enhancements to ensure efficient delivery of packets.
Why isn’t it already there?
So why don’t we see WAN optimization routinely deployed into backhaul networks. There are a number reasons:
- Lack of awareness of the technology
- Belief that it’s an expensive option
- Concern over the complexity of deploying/supporting the technology
Only the last of these is a valid concern and even there, the concerns are exaggerated. Replify was worked with partners extensively to make WAN optimization an embedded technology, seamless integrated into existing management systems, and running in, or out of path as required. For pure TCP backhaul it is very straightforward to integrate Replify’s optimization engine, including its high performance, low footprint Intelligent Caching Engine (ICE), into devices such as gateways/hubs, “office-in-a-box”, SDN “topof-rack” controllers, and cellular base-stations.
For example, Replify’s WAN optimization, running on small rural base-stations is delivering a steady 50% reduction in data traffic on satellite backhaul for a major operator in the far-east. Given the cost of satellite data, and the impact of satellite link latency on user experience, this is a tremendously cost-effective application of the technology.
Replify’s vision is of a virtual WAN Optimization controller (WOC) embedded in every home-hub, in every NTU, in every base-station and in every mobile device (our client is available for Android, Linux, Windows and MacOS. Peered with a virtual appliance in the carrier’s data centre or the application service providers data centre, we will optimize the longest path we can detect to provide that 50% extra bandwidth, and dramatically reduced download times.