Top US task force picks Expand WAN technology.Byline: New Jersey
A top level US Marine task force in Iraq has deployed Expand Networks' WAN (wide area network) optimisation technology to improve the performance of critical applications over satellite links used in its operations in Iraq.
Multi-National Forces West Multi-National Forces West (MNF-W) one of the coalition headquarters under Multi-National Forces-Iraq. It is headquartered by either I or II U.S. Marine Expeditionary Force that rotate on a 12 month basis. , the highest level of command for the US Marines Corps Marine Air-Ground Task Force The Marine Corps principal organization for all missions across the range of military operations, composed of forces task-organized under a single commander capable of responding rapidly to a contingency anywhere in the world. (MAGTF MAGTF Marine Air-Ground Task Force ) in Iraq has deployed WAN optimisation technology from Expand, a leader in optimising WANs for branch office consolidation and virtualisation.
The optimisation technology successfully supported the US Marines relocation from Camp Fallujah to Al Asad Air Base, and continues to optimise traffic to overcome database replication time-outs of its biometric automated toolset (BATS) technology between checkpoints in the region.
Holding sensitive biometric data such as fingerprints and retina scans, BATS is used by all Marines manning military checkpoints in the region and is a significant intelligence application for capturing known or suspected terrorists. Critical to users across the spectrum involved in intercepting suspected terrorists, it is vital this database remain accurate and updated.
However, design limitations of satellite networks can cause high latency and packet loss that can severely affect application performance resulting in delayed file transfer and slow response times. Experiencing database replication time-outs of the information at its remote locations, the US Marines recognised it could apply a WAN optimisation strategy to keep all databases across the region synchronised reliably and efficiently.
Captain Criston W Cox, MNF-W Data Systems Officer, said: "Before implementing the optimisation technology, our throughput averaged 8 to 9 kbps with multiple timeouts over the TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) A satellite and cellular phone technology that interleaves multiple digital signals onto a single high-speed channel. For cellular, TDMA triples the capacity of the original analog method (FDMA). SATCOM (SATellite COMmunication) Refers to the field of communications via satellite. links. To overcome the issues, we were regularly updating alternative servers at base and would fly them out to the isolated sites via helicopters to keep the data updated. This created a significant cost in manpower and air transport requirements."
"Once we put the Expand accelerators online, the BATS server interface indicated a constant transfer rate at 5.8 mbps, with no time outs or data corruption Data corruption refers to errors in computer data that occur during transmission or retrieval, introducing unintended changes to the original data. Computer storage and transmission systems use a number of measures to provide data integrity, the lack of errors. , and this was over a 2 mbps link," he added.
"The efficient compression and TCP acceleration TCP Acceleration is the name of a series of techniques for achieving better throughput on an Internet connection than standard TCP achieves, without modifying the end applications. It is an alternative or a supplement to TCP tuning. combined successfully to significantly increase performance, which in turn alleviated the burden of physically updating and flying servers out to the remote locations."
Expand Networks' integrated WAN optimisation technology combines techniques such as byte-level caching, dynamic compression The ability to compress and decompress data in real time; for example, as it is being written to or read from disk or as it is being received or transmitted via a communications channel. See dynamic. and TCP acceleration to enable available satellite bandwidth and real-time interactive TCP (1) (Transmission Control Protocol) The reliable transport protocol within the TCP/IP protocol suite. TCP ensures that all data arrive accurately and 100% intact at the other end. traffic be maximised.
There are many products out there that can do each of these functions, but Expand has the ability to provide a multilayered mul·ti·lay·ered
Consisting of or involving several individual layers or levels. approach to network optimisation in a single platform.
Expand accelerators were also part of the migration of 17 terabytes of data from Camp Fallujah to Al Asad Air Base in support of the MNFW MNFW Multi-National Force West Headquarters Element relocation.
To move the data, the US Marines decided to execute the disaster recovery plan that was in place in order to back up all data held at Camp Fallujah to the new base at Al Asad.
"During the relocation exercise, we noted a performance problem in keeping the NetApps SNAP mirror sessions up-to-date over the link," Captain Cox said.
"By utilising the optimisation techniques of the Expand accelerators, the issue was immediately mitigated and we saw throughput increase from around 120k to 6mbs, enabling a smooth and quick transition," he added.
"I based my decision to go with Expand on previously observed performance during my own empirical analysis of several competing protocol enhancement proxies as part of my naval postgraduate school The Naval Postgraduate School is a graduate school operated by the United States Navy. Located in Monterey, California, it grants primarily master's degrees plus some doctoral degrees to its students, who are mostly active duty officers from U.S. and foreign military services. thesis work, and have since been very impressed with the product and the team of engineers at Expand who were always available to provide support and quickly answered any technical questions."
Howard Teicher, Expand Networks vice president for public sector & satellite markets concluded: "Within any military environment, performance is everything and we understand that the network is no exception to this rule. We have a long experience and leadership position in the military sectors at Expand, and we are committed to delivering the superior performance and communication so vital to the military in these challenging environments."
"This deployment is a great example of how our technology successfully addresses the problematic congestion The condition of a network when there is not enough bandwidth to support the current traffic load.
congestion - When the offered load of a data communication path exceeds the capacity. and latency issues experienced by the forces over satellite links to ensure all users are placed in virtual proximity of their applications, even in the most remote location," Teicher said. -- TradeArabia News Service
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