Does WAN Virtualization enhance Riverbed SteelHead products?

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Yes, WAN Virtualization works in conjunction with other WAN optimization or acceleration technologies.

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 HA (High  Availability) pair of Ecessa appliances, and your Riverbed has a 4-port card, you can use both pairs of in-path interfaces to create redundnacy 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 loo similar to the example on page 145 of the document located here
  • For the optimal compatibility between your Riverbed's functionality and the benefits the Ecessa solution provides, you should configure your Riverbed for "Full Address Transparency" as described on page 47 of the document located here
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