This is the first blog in a series of posts in which I will describe Citrix WanScaler operations within a Distributed Storage Area Network environment.

The purpose of this blog is to discuss the term “The Big Push” as it relates to Distributed Storage Area Networks. Distributed Storage Area Networks allow for corporations to provide local storage at Remote offices. These networks also provide remote users access to critical data in the event of a network outage.

Distributed SAN’s are typically deployed in a multi-site configuration with one or more storage units located at each individual remote office, and with several clustered arrays residing at a central facility. In the example below, a corporation has it’s headquarters located in San Francisco with remote offices in Chicago and New York City.

“The Big Push” is the process of the initial writing of data to a Storage Area Network array. The size of the initial datastore can be in excess of 1 terabyte. Because of this fact, “The Big Push” has been traditionally performed locally at a central facility over a high bandwidth Local Area Network where latency and bandwidth constraints are not a limiting factor. After the units have had data written to them they are then shipped to their respective remote locations and configured by local IT or contracted personnel.

By utilizing a WAN optimization solution between headquarters and the remote locations, corporations are able to deploy and complete initial configuration of remote SAN units over high latency, low bandwidth Wan links. Initial lab testing results show a significant increase in Wan performance when utilizing Citrix WanScalers between the HQ and remote sites. These results may present a compelling argument to many corporations to begin migrating from the traditional “Big Push” to a more distributed initial configuration which would eliminate the costs and logistical overhead of configuring centrally and providing support for the local installation of the remote storage units.

In my next blog post I will write about Snap-shots and how Citrix Wanscaler increases their performance metrics over a distributed environment.