Q&A: Does WAN Virtualization Enhance Riverbed SteelHead products?

WAN Virtualization works with Riverbed SteelHead WAN Optimization

Yes, WAN Virtualization works in conjunction with other WAN optimization technologies, such as Riverbed SteelHead, Silver Peak and Blue Coat products. WAN Optimization and WAN Virtualization are functions of software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN).

In this article (originally posted by Mike Rucker in FAQ at support.ecessa.com) we will look specifically at the Riverbed SteelHead product.

Ecessa’s WAN Virtualization technology allows two or more sites to communicate over multiple diverse WAN links as if directly connected with a high-capacity, point-to-point connection. A separate tunnel is created between each WAN link on the sites; the tunnels are monitored and traffic is routed over the various tunnels based on available bandwidth. Since traffic is dispersed over multiple tunnels, WAN Virtualization provides bandwidth aggregation as well as seamless failover in the event of WAN link failure.

Although Riverbed products optimize site-to-site traffic through the use of compression and preventing the transmission of duplicate data, they are still reliant on a single path between sites. WAN Virtualization is able to provide these advantages when used in conjunction with Riverbed products:

  • Automatic seamless failover on WAN failure. In the event of a WAN outage, traffic within the WAN Virtualization connection will automatically use an alternate tunnel.
  • Increased bandwidth through the use of either aggregation or load balancing techniques.

Important things to know:

  • If you are planning to use your single Riverbed appliance in conjunction with a High Availability (HA) pair of Ecessa appliances and your Riverbed has a 4-port card, you can use both pairs of in-path interfaces to create redundancy to your pair of Ecessa appliances to ensure you maintain connectivity through the Riverbed in the event of a switch failure or Ecessa hardware failure. Your topology and configuration will look similar to the example on page 145 of the document located here.
  • For the optimal compatibility between your Riverbed’s functionality and the benefits that the Ecessa solution provides, you should configure your Riverbed for “Full Address Transparency” as described on page 47 of the document located here.

Ecessa offers a full line of WAN management gear that allows you to scale from basic fail over to advanced virtualization of all your connections. For more information about how Ecessa devices work in concert with other networking hardware, please download our WAN Solutions Matrix.

 Click Here to get the Free WAN Solutions Matrix and Checklist!

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