Start-up Aryaka launches WAN optimization service

Start-up Aryaka offers an optimized WAN service designed as an alternative to hardware and software optimization gear sold by Blue Coat, Cisco and Riverbed.

The upside of the service is that it requires no capital outlay or maintenance by customers, and when WAN connections to given sites are increased customers don't have to buy new equipment, the company says.

The company claims that – best case - its optimization can streamline traffic that passes natively over an OC-3 connection so it can pass over a T-1 in the same amount of time. Typical real world performance would improve performance five to 10 times, the company says.

Customers pay a flat monthly per-site fee that is adjusted for the bandwidth of the connection to Aryaka's nearest point of presence (POP). The company has 10 POPs worldwide today and says it will have 25 by year-end. The company guarantees 99.999% uptime.

They will be distributed in the largest metropolitan areas so they can connect to 95% of corporate branches with less than 10 millisecs of network delay between the sites and the POPs. Traffic among the POPs within Aryaka's network is optimized in a variety of ways to move traffic more efficiently.

Within the network the provider uses its own more efficient form of TCP, but signals customers' branch routers with standard TCP to indicate it is connecting with an uncongested high bandwidth segment, the company says.

If the site has a low-bandwidth connection to the POP, Aryaka can install an appliance that supports TCP optimization at the site to boost performance of that initial segment. There is no extra charge for the appliances.

Aryaka's network is based on connections it buys on a country-by-country basis from what it considers the top two or three carriers in each.

Within the network the provider performs other optimization besides TCP compression. This includes proxies that pre-fetch content for specific protocols based on knowledge of what the protocols will ask for next. This data is cached at the POP closest to the customer site. So rather than sending a request and waiting for data to return from a customer's corporate headquarters, the data is returned from the nearby POP, reducing transit time.

The service supports common Internet file system (CIFS), messaging application programming interface (MAPI), and file transfer protocol (FTP). It plans to add HTTP and SSL later.

The service supports five classes of service based on the type of service (ToS) bits set by customers' routers. Via a portal, customers map their ToS settings to Aryaka's classes of service – realtime, near realtime , transactional, productivity and best effort.

Customers can also reserve bandwidth for particular applications, limit bandwidth or employ weighted fair queuing.Architecturally, the service is similar to one offered by Virtela. In both cases customers connect their sites to a POP, traffic is optimized within the provider's network and delivered over a connection between another POP and another site. Aryaka uses its own software to optimize whereas Virtela uses off-the-shelf products from WAN optimization vendors. It won't say which ones.

Aryaka's customers pay monthly fees that depend on the bandwidth of the connections from their sites. A 1.5Mbps connection costs $300 to $400 per month depending on where the site is located, and 45Mbps connections cost $700 to $800. Customers pay the price of the local loop.

Virtela charges $5 per site per day for up to 45Mbps connections and offers a money-back guarantee if customers are dissatisfied in any way.

Aryaka's service might also be compared to those of service providers that manage off-the-shelf optimization gear located at customer sites.

Founded in 2008, the company has 75 employees and is based in Milpitas, Calif., and Bangalore, India. It was founded by President and CEO, Ajit Gupta and vice president of engineering Ashwath Nagaraj. Aryaka (pronounced ah-ree-AH-kah) is Sanskrit for noble and truthful.

The company says it has raised $14 million, including Series A funding from Trinity Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners and Stanford University.

Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.

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