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WAFS appliances are available in three forms:
- An integrated hardware and software appliance
- Software loaded on a standard, off-the-shelf server
- A blade on an Ethernet switch
- No agents to deploy
- Operating system agnostic
- Works with any vendor's NAS appliances
- Removes most responsibility for data management from the remote office
- Stores all files in the central office data center
- Allows organizations to introduce new functions beyond WAFS
While all appliances deliver protocol optimization and some replication features, not all appliances work with file systems, an important consideration for a WAFS implementation.
Juniper Networks Inc., Network Executive (NetEx) Software and Orbital Data Corp. offer protocol optimization and replication in their respective WX, HyperIP and TotalTransport products. Each product complements existing file- server replication and synchronization approaches by eliminating or reducing the network overhead created by the chattiness of the CIFS protocol.
This was first published in October 2005