Evaluating Ipanema Technologies' WAN optimization

Ipanema Technologies provides WAN optimization to system integrators, VARs, and service providers. It offers extensive performance management in addition to acceleration and optimization technology.

Ipanema Technologies is different from other WAN optimization providers because it does not sell directly to enterprise

IT organizations. Ipanema receives roughly half of its revenues from system integrators and VARs and the other half from service providers such as OBS, BT, Cable&Wireless, Tata Communications, Reliance, Swisscom, Belgacom, and Telecom Italia. Ipanema claims to be the only provider whose system underlies application-based managed services that are linked to service-level agreements (SLAs) for application performance.

Ipanema emphasizes the fact that it does not "sell boxes but rather a system that covers all the needs related to application performance management and WAN optimization." The company says, "We emphasize the completeness of the supporting feature set (visibility, optimization and acceleration) but also the underlying architecture to deliver a solution that leads the pack in terms of integration, scalability and TCO."

Ipanema states that its products allow network and IT managers to focus on delivered quality of experience and productivity, rather than the supporting technologies, enabling what it views as an emerging enterprise discipline: WAN governance. The company declined to identify relationships with other vendors. It did state, "The completeness of our feature set is due to strong internal innovations and also due to some technology transfers (not just OEM reselling, but full integration) from undisclosed best-of-breed companies."

Important facts about Ipanema WAN optimization

The Ipanema Technologies solution supports global dynamic quality of service (QoS) based on centrally defined performance objectives. According to Ipanema, its solution "follows the principle of autonomic networking with a self and real-time adaptation of parameters using a closed loop between visibility and QoS." Ipanema further stated that the principle of autonomic networking guided its development of dynamic and global network load-balancing functionality, and that this functionality is integrated with other capabilities such as visibility and acceleration.

Ipanema's QoS engine classifies traffic from Layer 2 to Layer 7. It implements a global dynamic bandwidth allocation where devices cooperate with each other to manage meshed flows both inbound and outbound without requiring devices or PC client software at the remote end. The QoS engine also supports dedicated optimizations for real-time and interactive traffic.

For redundancy elimination, Ipanema implements what it refers to as "Riverbed-style algorithms." The Ipanema solution also has a special mode for UDP and real-time traffic.

Relative to TCP optimization, Ipanema supports:

  • One-point TCP acceleration without devices at the remote end by using over-windowing and fast-start techniques.
  • Classical two-point acceleration using a three-way split of the TCP streams.

For application- or higher-level, protocol-specific optimization, Ipanema supports:

  • Layer 7 Common Internet File System (CIFS) optimization that is chained with other technologies such as TCP acceleration and redundancy elimination.
  • Citrix flow optimization using dynamic analysis of user behavior to detect both interactive periods and file transfer periods of Citrix ICA sessions.

Ipanema claims to have one of the most comprehensive and most integrated visibility feature sets, with global reporting and monitoring of technical flow performance metrics as well as user quality of experience indicators.

For more, read all the sections in our guide:

About the author:
Dr. Jim Metzler, principal at Ashton Metzler and Associates, is a widely recognized authority on network technology and its business applications. In more than 28 years of experience, Jim has helped numerous vendors refine product and service strategies and has helped enterprises evolve network infrastructures. He has directed and conducted market research at a major industry analyst firm and run a consulting firm. Jim holds a Ph.D. in numerical analysis from Boston University. He is co-author of the book Layer 3 Switching: A Guide for IT Professionals (Prentice Hall).

This was first published in February 2010

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