While many IT shops are moving from hardware to software WAN optimization solutions, NetEx has given enterprises even more incentive to use virtual appliances—by giving away its HyperIP. Until the end of 2011, NetEx is offering free WAN optimization software for a full year.
What is the NetEx HyperIP?
The NetEx HyperIP is a software WAN optimization solution that can optimize big data across long distances. Although it can optimize small data over a WAN, it is ideal for data replication, file transfer applications and business continuance/disaster recovery (BC/DR) over wide area networks (WANs). NetEx claims the full version of HyperIP can transfer files at up to 800 Mbps. This free WAN optimization software is compatible with many virtual data replication vendors including EMC, NetApp, VMware, Veeam, HP LeftHand Networks, EqualLogic, and Symantec.
[The NetEx HyperIP is] really good for what I call a lossy line—a line that has high packet loss. And lines are far more lossy than people realize.
Marc Staimer, president at Dragon Slayer Consulting
According to Dragon Slayer Consulting president Marc Staimer, the NetEx HyperIP is outstanding for replication and for any type of data transfer. When you lose a packet, NetEx will retransmit the lost packet and reorder it from the point it is lost rather than retransmit everything behind a lost packet, which is what the standard TCP protocol does.
"[The NetEx HyperIP is] really good for what I call a lossy line—a line that has high packet loss. And lines are far more lossy than people realize," Staimer said.
Why is NetEx's HyperIP free?
As part of a promotional partnership, NetEx and VMware are giving away the HyperIP WAN optimization virtual appliance software to new and existing VMware Virtual Appliance Marketplace (VAM) users at no cost for one full year (from the day you sign up). The basic level of service that NetEx is providing is worth $2,100 in value for a 2 Mbps data rate. To qualify, you must submit a valid VAM membership form. The free VAM membership connects users to the industry's largest online directory of virtual appliances. NetEx has offered free virtual WAN optimization software in the past in partnership with Veeam Software. The Veeam free 2 Mbps program runs through July 2011.
Who benefits most from NetEx HyperIP?
"VMware," Staimer said. "Let's be candid. HyperIP is an incredible fit for its VMotion; it's a great fit for Storage VMotion when it's geographically dispersed; it's a great fit for SRM—its Site Recovery Manager."
NetEx gets VMware's seal of approval because its products are so compatible. Potential enterprise customers using VMware for replication and backup applications will also benefit from NetEx HyperIP.
"[The HyperIP] mitigates network issues that degrade overall application throughput and performance over the WAN," said Bob MacIntyre, VP of business development in marketing at NetEx. He did not recommend Hyper IP to optimize virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) or VoIP, however, though Staimer mentioned that WAN optimization is not ideal for optimizing voice traffic, and in those cases, enterprise IT should rely on QoS.
The lab tests NetEx has done proves HyperIP will work well with VMware View Offline, according to MacIntyre, because it requires the movement of large amounts of data when doing check-in and check-outs.
"We have proposed a HyperIP-View test with VMware but don’t have any commitment from them to make it happen. So until that happens [we] are sticking to replication and DR-type applications," MacIntyre said.
"I see a great fit for [NetEx HyperIP] in the cloud," Staimer said, explaining that software WAN optimization business models are more aligned with cloud provider business models in how they sell, since both services are sold "by the drink ... [and] not by the bottle."
Cloud providers are also far more likely to use WAN optimization software over hardware. Staimer explains why:
"Cost is huge when it comes to the cloud. Huge! Because to be cost effective in the cloud you have to have a very … low infrastructure cost. And the key aspect in infrastructure is hardware—because you've got servers and switches and networks and storage—and the less you have of that, the more you get your economies of scale."
How does NetEx HyperIP compare to other WAN optimization solutions?
The HyperIP uses much less disk and memory than the competitors—like Riverbed, Silver Peak and Blue Coat—that MacIntyre highlights. This means NetEx's software WAN optimization is far less hardware-intensive, which allows it to run in more environments.
The NetEx HyperIP does not use dictionary compression or WAN bandwidth optimization techniques that do local caching. Staimer said the fact that NetEx doesn't use caching doesn't pose any problem; the type of WAN optimization NetEx HyperIP uses (replication) just solves a different problem. Big data is what NetEx is most effective in optimizing.
"Although [the NetEx HyperIP will] work fine on small data," Staimer said, "a Riverbed [WAN optimization appliance] will do better—where people want to maintain the perception of local performance—because they're caching it locally. That's not a strength of HyperIP. The strength of HyperIP is to move data very, very rapidly across the bandwidth you have available."