Is there anything real anymore? Virtual servers, virtual desktops, cloud storage -- what happened to good old steel boxes you could set a user's manual on? Oh wait, even documentation is software now. Is it too much to ask for a 2U chassis that pumps out 2,000 BTUs while forcing anyone nearby to don ear protection from its jet-engine cooling fans?
WAN acceleration and optimization appliances joined the virtual age a short while ago, but there always seemed to be issues with capacity and performance when compared to a high-powered physical appliance. Stuffing a WAN acceleration appliance, with its need for lots of disk I/O operations and network bandwidth, into a virtual host also running file, print, and database servers didn't seem like a good fit.