Although Yellowbook, a publisher of print and online directories, has used WAN optimization for years, the need to replicate business data, as well as new technologies such as VoIP and video on demand, prompted the company to seek a new WAN optimization platform.
Yellowbook recently deployed Silver Peak Systems' NX-8000 WAN acceleration appliances to optimize dual OC-3 SONET lines between two regional offices in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and King of Prussia, Pa. The NX-8000 is the second generation of WAN optimization gear for Silver Peak.
Enterprise infrastructure architect Bill Flusek said that Yellowbook first deployed WAN optimization from Peribit before Juniper acquired it in 2005. Yellowbook remains a Juniper/Peribit customer for now, but Flusek wanted something that could scale higher to replicate data between the EMC Symmetrix DMXs in Yellowbooks's two offices.
"We've been a Juniper-Peribit customer for almost six years," Flusek said. "But we were looking for something to run between data centers and something to help us with EMC replication traffic."
Flusek said Yellowbook will replicate its business applications between data centers data using EMC's SRDF/asynchronous for disaster recovery. Flusek added that compatibility with EMC was a key reason for picking Silver Peak, which became an EMC Select partner in February.
Although Yellowbook was satisfied with Juniper, two issues arose, Flusek said. "One, they weren't certified with EMC, and the way they function, it didn't seem like they were going to provide a lot of value with SRDF. We're looking to go through OC-3s, and [Juniper] doesn't have a good story with bandwidth. You have to stack boxes to get above 155 Mbps."
Going forward, Flusek expects Yellowbook to replicate more bandwidth-intensive applications, such as VOIP and video. Yellowbook runs Cisco VoIP and video on demand. "We've looked at what it will take to get video on demand back and forth, but we haven't done it yet," he said. "This will open the floodgates for us to do a lot more replication than we do today.
"We were nervous about the amount of bandwidth we'll need to get everything up and running. Now bandwidth will become less of an issue."
Flusek said Yellowbook considered WAN optimization from Riverbed and Cisco, but those vendors didn't have EMC's blessing for SRDF either. "We didn't want something where we were going to EMC with a problem, and they were saying they wouldn't support our wide-area replication because we had hardware they wouldn't sign off on," he said.
Yellowbook is still running Juniper's WAN acceleration for remote sites. Flusek said he'll eventually decide if he will continue to use both products or consolidate to Silver Peak. He said Silver Peak's encryption capabilities will keep Yellowbook's security people happy but he would like to see it add client software for remote office workers.
Flusek also said the NX-8000 boxes should be enough for Yellowbook, although he might consider the newer and larger NX-9000 systems down the road. He said the bigger box's increased bandwidth (from 500 Mpbs to 1 Gbps) was less of a selling point than its increase from 7 TB to 8 TB of local data store available.
"One of the things that interests us is the size of the disk cache that's available," he said. "I don't think we're in need of more speed because the boxes we have are good for OC-12 speed. We're okay as far as performance, but it would be nice to support a bigger disk farm."