WAN Acceleration: Accelerating IT security, F1 and health
Bridgeworks
Category
Data Centre Physical Connectivity Innovation Of The Year
Entry Description
WAN Acceleration technologies accelerate data transfers that eliminate data management challenges are known as ‘WAN acceleration’. Bridgeworks patented artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies accelerate organisation's existing technologies and dramatically accelerate their Wide Area Networks (WANs). AI underpins the patented technology to provide process intelligence, mitigating latency and mitigate packet loss. Our solutions, such as PORTrockIT, dramatically improve data throughput up to 98% of bandwidth – regardless of distance.

Organisations such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is part of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the U.S, a major IT security firm, and an F1 team, can therefore gain significant WAN performance without touching any of your data, maintaining security protocols, governance, and compliance.
National Institutes of Health.

The NIH was originally a PORTrockIT 400 customer. However, it found an additional need to add two of Bridgeworks’ new high end PORTrockIT 800’s last year. They are moving four protocols over the WAN at ‘breakneck speed’.

A spokesperson from BKJ Works - New York comments: “This is a non-engineering group, but they have had no problem in installing the devices (each in under 1 hour!). Don't be surprised if they come up with future needs on an even grander scale in the future. I cannot thank Bridgeworks enough for their continued support, fast turn around and meeting all and any of our requests with a willingness to say, ‘Yes we can’. This relationship will only deepen going forward.”

WAN Data Acceleration powers the National Institutes of Health’s global data transfer requirements at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. It is also the world’s largest biomedical research agency. One Bridgeworks' healthcare customer, US-based CVS Caremark, connected two virtual tape libraries over 2,860 miles at full WAN bandwidth. This achieved a performance gain of 95 times the unaccelerated performance.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has gone from never being able to achieve fast datacentre replication over a distance between sites of 2,000 miles, to be able to attain it. The difference between doing it between two machines in the same datacentre and in two machines across two datacentres was 6 MB/s on NetApp Snap Mirror replication. So, they now lose only this amount of time.

The NIH wasn’t able to address this issue for a couple of years. NetApp and Aspera couldn’t achieve this. Bridgeworks was brought in to conduct a quick POC that took a couple of days to set it up, and then that was it. The savings come from not having anything previously to protect their data. Bridgeworks has also helped NIH to resolve network infrastructure issues. Although successful, the results aren’t yet in the public domain. Yet it is a substantial multi-million U.S. dollar contract.

Accelerating IT security

The project with the major IT security firm is also a game-changer. Between November and December 2021, a storage subject matter expert within this company came to Bridgeworks with details about a file transfer problem on a 2Gbps WAN circuit between Colorado, USA, and Bangalore in India.

Problem:

With data equating to 700TB storage estate, backups are only as good as the ability to restore the data. In order to allow an acceptable transfer time of this data requires a robust solution.

There were 2 NetApp units involved in the data migration: one in Bangalore and another in Denver. The transfer was performed using the inbuilt NetApp Snap Mirror feature. It involved migrating data in a follow the sun requirement, and critical data and security was paramount. The allocated WAN bandwidth for transfer was a 1Gb/s controlled by a SD-WAN. But the raw WAN bandwidth was 2 Gb/s. Before PORTrockIT, throughput was typically equating to 2MB/s using Incumbent technology WAN-Optimisation with only 2% unitisation of WAN, and the time to transfer the data was 8.4 days.

Phil Hill, Customer Solution Architect at Bridgeworks explains: “Our PORTrockIT solution for this company mitigated the effects of Latency and Packet loss. He says the latency between Denver and Bangalore at 350ms is a lot of latency! The biggest single factor causing latency is distance - even though the speed of light is around 186,282 miles per second – this figure is actually around one third lower when going through fibre optic cables.

Although the units can be hardware, sometimes virtual images or cloud machine images are more useful. As time was of the essence and the customer had real looming deadlines, the IT security firm opted for a Virtual Machine (VM) running in VMWare ESX. This made the turnaround for the evaluation-solution really quick. The following table shows the technical specification of the virtual products which would server the customer best.

After installing and configuring the PORTrockIT virtual instances the transfer speed increased to 80MB/s – a 40-fold increase and the time taken was reduced to under 6 hours. In this case the benchmark figure we were given was that the customer was only able to move data at around 2 Mega Bytes per second.”

Results

A spokesperson from the IT security company remarks: “The rate of throughput was incredible. PORTrockIT from Bridgeworks is a game changer. I am a storage engineer with limited networking knowledge. I was able to configure and deploy PORTrockIT in less than 2 hours”. The IT security firm believes that with ‘unthrottled’ conditions and utilising their full 2 Gig WAN, they would be able to transfer data at 200 MBs per second. PORTrockIT is working over a SD-WAN, and they required no other changes to the LAN or WAN configurations.

Speaking about the project, Kevin St. Cyr, Tributary Systems inc. of Dallas, Texas says: “We have always impressed with the capabilities of PORTrockIT product, but what they have achieved with the IT security company’s installation takes it to another level. It is a showcase for the capabilities of PORTrockIT. The beauty is, it’s easy to install and it shows the performance that can be achieved over a WAN that was once thought impossible.”

WAN Accelerating F1

A Formula 1 (F1) team undertook an evaluation, a proof of concept (POC), which showed the ability of PORTrockIT to make their WAN data transfers 60 times faster than before. The trial was so successful that the team ended it early. Bridgeworks’ brief was to help them speed up data the transfer of data from the Cotswolds in the UK to New England, in the USA.

A new Partnership with Prodec Networks was formed in the process, and a spokesperson from Prodec comments: “Regarding the F1 team, from wind tunnel analysis to engineering documents, Formula 1 teams accumulate significant volumes of data. The cars’ sensors (over a hundred of them) tell their own story about the race for the duration of the race and for referral later.”
“Needless to say, up to date revisions of the cars’ specific designs need to be easily accessible. How the teams deal with the pressures of reacting quickly to the vast amount of information is often the difference between winning and losing each race. With race data exceeding 150Gb per race weekend, it’s easy to see how our F1 team needed a fast data-transfer solution.”
Supporting Documents