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Silver Peak speeds Masterpet’s data replication across the Tasman

24 Oct 2013

Pet products and services company Masterpet has streamlined its nightly Veeam virtual machine (VM) replication and disaster recovery (DR) exchange between New Zealand and Australia.

Using Silver Peak data acceleration software, Masterpet is now transmitting three times more data twice as fast over a 5 megabit-per-second (Mbps) connection.

Masterpet’s nightly 500 megabyte (MB) VM replication process between Wellington and Sydney had previously taken 40 minutes to complete over the saturated 5 Mbps wide area network (WAN) connection.

This was putting Masterpet’s recovery point objective (RPO) in jeopardy. Following a rapid install of the Silver Peak software, that same 5 Mbps connection now performs like a 140 Mbps connection.

This has allowed Masterpet to increase the volume of its data replication to 1.6 Gigabytes (GB), which now takes just 22 minutes to transfer.

“Silver Peak is giving us a full four hours of unused space to push more data through if need be”, said Sean White, Masterpet’s ICT Manager for Australasia.

In addition to its data centres at the Masterpet head offices in Wellington and in Sydney, the company has branch offices in Auckland and Christchurch, which run a variety of applications over the WAN.

Internet voice traffic accounts for a big portion of the bandwidth being consumed, along with email, remote desktop (RDP) sessions, Web and file-sharing.

VM backups began to saturate the link during the past year, as the company moved most of its servers to a virtual environment. Sean White responded by evaluating ways of streamlining and improving WAN performance.

“First we investigated a larger link, but the cost was prohibitive,” White says.

“We needed to improve our DR processes without extending the link, so we began to investigate WAN acceleration solutions.”

Masterpet drew up a list of WAN acceleration vendors to evaluate, with an emphasis on virtual products. Among those were Riverbed and Silver Peak.

Following a fast and seamless two-month trial of Silver Peak, Masterpet achieved pleasing results and determined Silver Peak VRX software to be the ideal fit for their environment.

“Silver Peak software installs easily into our environment and performs better than any hardware optimisation product we’ve seen,” White adds.

“Looking at the figures, the transfer of 1.6 GB in 22 minutes is the sort of result that is very consistent for us now and is helping us easily meet our RPO.”

According to White, a major factor in deploying the Silver Peak software was the company’s level of product knowledge and the high levels of professionalism he experienced during the evaluation process.

“The guys they had on the phone during the trial really knew what they were talking about,” he says.

“They knew the product very well and just gave us complete confidence in the Silver Peak solution and in the company.”

White adds that Silver Peak’s flexible, subscription-based pricing model was a key consideration, as it worked out to be very cost-effective for their operational expenditure (OPEX) requirements, while giving Masterpet room to grow in the future.

What’s more, while rival WAN acceleration solutions of similar performance levels tend to be hardware-based, Silver Peak’s software solution provided the acceleration Masterpet needed without expensive hardware, as well as providing flexibility for the company’s rapid growth.

Masterpet uses Veeam for its virtual replication, and also needed to ensure that any new data acceleration solution seamlessly interoperate with Veeam. White and the Masterpet IT team found the process of installing Silver Peak with Veeam very easy and found the products complement each other effectively.

“It is very easy to perform our Veeam backups now the WAN is working so efficiently," White adds. "We wanted something simple - we don’t need a lot of reporting or features, just something that sits there in the background and quietly makes our replication faster.”

Moving forward, Masterpet anticipates deploying Silver Peak across other areas of the business.

For White, the return-on-investment (ROI) for Masterpet’s Silver Peak investment crosses many areas of the business.

Bandwidth savings means he will not need to increase his link capacity for the foreseeable future - he has also saved on server and facility costs by making better use of existing infrastructure with virtual products.

Finally, Masterpet has gained significant productivity and improved the company’s ability to analyse data usage.

Masterpet provides high quality products and services to pet owners in Australia and New Zealand to ensure safe, happy lives for their animals.

Silver Peak’s broad portfolio of software-based solutions are available for free, self-service trials at