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Stop Investing In Wan Bandwidth, Think About Wan Optimization
By: Ashraf Taifour

As corporate applications become more and more critical to the survival and growth of the business' bottom line, IT departments face tough decisions about how to deliver more applications with better performance to all of the end users across the wide area network system. These concerns have slowly grown to be huge challenges for IT managers and directors over the past 2 years.

In the past, the myth that "ordering more Network bandwidth usually will solve my problems" was the general response when a business was facing slow application performance across the wide area network. This response was due in part because there were limited options for IT staff to try and improve application performance without increasing Network bandwidth. This problem has created the opportunity for someone to develop an alternative solution to improve application performance and enhance the use of the current WAN bandwidth without increasing bandwidth.

Today Optimization techniques for wide-area networks (WANs) can improve most organizations' application response times, particularly where network latency is high, which is often due to centralization of servers and IT resources. Typically, WAN optimization serves to prevent network latency having a severe impact on the performance of applications and underlying protocols. Through data reduction and prioritization techniques which normally help organizations avoid costly bandwidth upgrades.

What the problems currently face all Enterprises running with centralized applications?

• Users complaining of slow applications Performance.
• Trying to consolidate your server & storage environment.
• Need faster data replication from your disaster recovery site.

By addressing the three main problems hitting Wide Area Networks (high latency, low bandwidth, and chatty protocols), WAN acceleration appliances improve the throughput of applications that your users depend on every day: including file sharing, email, backup, document management, custom applications, databases, CAD, Notes, and FTP, as well as ERP and CRM solutions.


What's the WAN Optimization?

Ok, well it sounds interesting but I think we need to dive into this definition in more detail to truly understand what this means and how it effects you. As you already know, wide area networks generally consist of extremely slow links (compared to LAN speeds) and connections that interconnect branch offices, vendors, as well as partners. Even with bandwidth costs dropping, these links and connections are extremely expensive.

WAN Optimization is a solution that uses a symmetric approach to application optimization, that is, a device on each side of the WAN or a software application integrated with client devices and servers that has application-specific intelligence and network-specific intelligence.

The optimizers are available as a router-integrated network module or as standalone appliances, it could deploy out of the data-path in the data center and in the remote office LAN.

How Optimization works?

Optimization helps to enable infrastructure consolidation while improving WAN utilization efficiency and application delivery through the following application acceleration and WAN optimization features:

• Transport Flow Optimizations (TFO) – TFO provides standards-based, field-proven through put improvements for TCP-based applications while maintaining packet-network friendliness and safe coexistence with other network nodes communicating using standard TCP implementations.

• Caching – Caching is a bidirectional database of traffic that has been previously-seen traversing the network. Caching inspects incoming TCP traffic and identifies patterns within the message. Once patterns have been identified, redundant patterns can be safely replaced by small signatures, thus minimizing the bandwidth consumption of each message significantly. Caching can provide anywhere from 2:1 to 200:1 compression based on the application being used and data being transmitted.

• Compression – Compression is a standards-based compression that can be employed to further minimize the amount of bandwidth consumed by a TCP flow. Compression can be used in conjunction with Caching or independently. Compression can provide anywhere from 2:1 to 4:1 compression based on the application being used and data being transmitted.

Benefits of WAN Optimization:

IT organizations can find that; they are better positioned to:
• Centralize costly distributed IT capital resources into the data center
• Improve throughput and delivery of applications to the enterprise edge
• Increase efficiency for existing WAN connections
• Robust application-specific and protocol-specific adapters that mitigate latency, suppress unnecessary messages, and provide protocol-specific data and metadata caching to minimize unnecessary data transfers and messaging over the WAN to improve interactive application responsiveness
• Advanced protocol-agnostic network compression capable of removing redundancy from TCP traffic regardless of application and provide computational compression
• Standards-based throughput improvement technologies and advanced congestion management for TCP-based applications and transmissions.

WAN Optimization Conclusion:

Enterprises today depend on a wide variety of applications to make their organizations function effectively. After all, how many organizations run solely on file sharing or email? Any effective solution for application acceleration must provide significant acceleration for all key applications that cross the WAN features are delivered by dedicated equipments usually purchased by the user organization. As the market develops, we expect to see increasing deployment of WAN optimization services.



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Posted by ROOT Technologies


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