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May - 2011 - issue > Cover Story

Aryaka: Launching the new Era in WAN Optimization

Vimali Swamy
Friday, April 29, 2011
Vimali Swamy
It is quite rare in Silicon Valley for someone to achieve blockbuster success in back-to-back startup ventures but Ajit Gupta has always defied the norm. At Speedera Networks, he built one of the fastest growing companies in the valley, battling stalwarts in the industry, surviving and thriving during the dot.com bust and leading the eventual acquisition of the company to Akamai Technologies in 2005 for a staggering market-valued $500 million. Today, with his latest venture Aryaka Networks, Gupta is aiming to be a game changer once again – but bigger and better than his Speedera days. Out from its stealth mode last September, Aryaka, in a very short time has already made international headlines, swiftly captured the attention of the industry analyst community and has given many enterprises pause as to how they are managing today’s evolving, modern networks. How? Founded in 2008, Milpitas, California, based Aryaka resolves application and network performance issues faced by distributed enterprises. With a revolutionary SaaS model to WAN optimization and application acceleration, the company offers significant cost, ease of use and performance advantages, helping as many as eight million globally distributed companies achieve dramatic productivity gains and increased visibility into their WAN applications, locations and performance, while providing 24/7 world-class support.

Why Optimize WAN?
WAN optimization and acceleration has always been the ‘bee in the bonnet’ for enterprises of all sizes and types around the world. On one end, companies are globalizing with branch offices in multiple locations. At the same time they are centralizing all their IT assets to achieve economies of scale, control and security. However, this centralization of data and applications poses enormous IT challenges linked to security issues and the high volumes of data traversing­ global WAN links. These problems include high cost, poor performance in terms of both bandwidth and latency, poor visibility across branches, and complex management of acceleration and security equipment between branches, headquarters, and data centers.

This is because most of the applications used by the organization for work processes such as file transfers, sharing multimedia content and more were built to work on local networks located on premise within the enterprise. But when deployed on a WAN these applications are not very performance oriented. Hence, the need to optimize the WAN so that today’s mobile, agile workforce can nearly instantly access any application and any data from anywhere in the world whether at work ,on the road, at home or on holiday at the beach.

For years, the only way companies could achieve this optimization in WAN was by buying costly private links (MPLS, EVPL, IPLC, or Carrier Ethernet) to connect their distributed branches with their corporate applications. The most commonly used private link network, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), switches packets based on adding labels and provides predictable characteristics over a variety of topologies. Despite the advantages of private networks like MPLS, both data transport and application execution still suffer from latency, bandwidth restrictions and poor network visibility. Over the past decade, the network performance problem for enterprises has been partially addressed by a number of WAN Optimization Controller (WOC) vendors who perform Application Acceleration and WAN Optimization functions. These WOC vendors provide acceleration and optimization via costly hardware appliances, which are placed at both the Headquarters (HQ) and branch ends of the network.

Deploying all these complex solutions leaves a company struggling to manage complex multiple appliances, forced to deal with with the upgrades and maintenance and constantly battling scalability and security issues. But most of all, it is the high costs of these solutions that represents IT’s top challenge since each of the MPLS links and WAN optimization boxes cost any where near $50,000, and deploying each one of these at every office takes a toll on a company’s IT budget which every year is being tasked to do more with less.

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