WAN optimization vendor Silver Peak apparently sees the writing on the data center's walls, announcing a new program today that offers a free upgrade to a virtual edition of its products to users of its hardware appliances.
Specifically, customers with a support contract for the company's NX line of WAN optimization appliances now have the option to switch to the equivalent VX model by clicking a "convert to virtual" button in the Silver Peak online support site.
[MORE VIRTUALIZATION: Citrix edges VMware, Microsoft in VDI face-off]
New CEO David Hughes said in a statement that it's important for Silver Peak to get out ahead of the trend toward data center virtualization.
"Some organizations are not quite ready to make the switch to virtual, but we know they will be in the future," he says.
Calling the program "software for life," Silver Peak cites research from IDC as predicting that demand for virtualized appliances will rise in the future, along with a Dell'Oro Group report that says virtual WAN optimization demand, in particular, will double this year.
Silver Peak is far from alone in its new emphasis on new form factors in WAN optimization, however. Public cloud WAN optimization provider Aryaka grabbed headlines last week by directly targeting competitor Riverbed's customers with an introductory offer, while F5 Networks rolled out upgraded virtual versions of its own hardware appliances.
Companies in the network management sector have been working to keep up with the trend toward an increasingly abstracted network environment in the enterprise witness the rise of SDN and the virtual data center. The move to increasing complexity also seems unlikely to slow down anytime soon, given the hype surrounding the "Internet of things," which has even traditional stalwarts like Cisco developing specialized technology for it.
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This story, "Silver Peak weans WAN optimization customers off hardware with virtualization pitch" was originally published by Network World.