One major development in WANS has been the development of hardware accelerators for the WAN. Such systems, which work at the Layer 2 level, allow for much more throughput than the standard for TCP/IP, but are, of course, proprietary. You should research, using whatever tools you care to employ, the concept of WAN hardware acceleration, and find at least one example of such a tool. Post your initial comment on this topic, being sure to cover the following points: • The manufacturer of the WAN accelerator along with the Web site. • The range of devices offered by the manufacturer, their prices, and capabilities. • Indication of what improvement in throughput this WAN accelerator provides. An explanation of how the accelerator implements improvement in Layer 2 framing to accomplish its tasks. • In your own words, please post a response to the Discussion Board and comment on other postings. You will be graded on the quality of your postings. For assistance with your assignment, please use your text, Web resources, and all course materials.

One major development in Wide Area Networks (WANs) is the emergence of hardware accelerators specifically designed for WANs. These hardware accelerators operate at the Layer 2 level and aim to enhance the throughput of TCP/IP networks. However, it is important to note that these accelerators are typically proprietary solutions. In order to explore this topic, I conducted extensive research utilizing various tools available to me.

During my research, I came across an example of a WAN accelerator called the Riverbed SteelHead. The manufacturer of this accelerator is Riverbed Technology, and their website can be found at Riverbed offers a range of devices under the SteelHead product line, each catering to different network requirements and capacities.

The SteelHead product line includes models such as the CX70, CX770, and CX570. These devices are offered at different price points, depending on their capabilities and capacity. Unfortunately, the specific prices for these devices could not be found, as they may vary depending on the customer’s specific needs and negotiation with the vendor.

In terms of capabilities, the SteelHead accelerators are designed to improve the throughput of WAN connections. They achieve this by implementing various optimization techniques at the Layer 2 framing level. By enhancing the efficiency of data transfer and reducing the amount of redundant data transmitted over the network, these accelerators can significantly improve the overall throughput of WAN connections.

The SteelHead accelerators accomplish these tasks by utilizing technologies such as data deduplication, compression, and protocol optimization. Data deduplication eliminates redundant data by storing a single copy and referencing it multiple times, thereby reducing the amount of data transferred over the network. Compression techniques reduce the size of data packets, allowing for faster transmission. Protocol optimization involves optimizing the flow control mechanisms and adjusting the TCP/IP parameters to improve the overall performance of the WAN connection.

In conclusion, WAN hardware accelerators, such as the Riverbed SteelHead, play a crucial role in enhancing the throughput of WAN connections. These proprietary solutions offer a range of devices with different capabilities, catering to diverse network requirements. By implementing optimization techniques at the Layer 2 framing level, these accelerators can significantly improve the overall performance of TCP/IP networks. The deployment of WAN accelerators can lead to enhanced data transfer speeds and improved network efficiency.

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