Doesn’t matter where you’re working

WAN optimization: the same network experience for all.

 As virtualization and cloud computing drive more and more traffic over wide area networks (WANs), end users are expecting and demanding connectivity to access their applications from anywhere and any device, any time. This in spite of the fact that poor application response times at remote sites are one of the biggest perceived hurdles to moving to the cloud in the first place.

 The challenge for IT then is to take on this performance and perception challenge by making the experience as seamless as possible for the end user, both in terms of application response and data transfer time. WAN optimization technologies are an effective way increase bandwidth and deliver application, data and experience consistently, scalably and cost-effectively so that users have the same network experience.

 Part of this challenge is not only to make the experience device-aware but bandwidth-aware too, so that you have the ability to change the way content is delivered based on the bandwidth that’s available. There are also a variety of techniques that can reduce, eliminate or control the amount of data going over a particular bandwidth, which fall mostly in these categories:

  •  Memory: which includes deduplication (sending references instead of actual data), compression of traffic (encoding fewer bits of information) and caching (relying on repeated behavior and access of the same data again and again).
  • Acceleration: which minimizes the effects of latency by keeping WANs full.
  • Traffic shaping: which controls data flow for specific applications and gives network administrators the flexibility to give precedence over the WAN to particular applications.
  • Loss: which addresses the retransmission of lost packets by forward error correction.

Any of these and a host of other techniques can ensure that users at a remote site or on a thin client have a predictable experience, a similar one to the one they experience in the office environment. So if I’m on an iPad or Mac or iPhone or Droid, I can hop on and access my CRM management system and get access to real-time data while I’m on a call with my customer. “I’ll send it to you when I get back to the office” is quickly going the way of “let me find a payphone.”

This post is part of the Choose Your Own Infrastructure Series

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About Ken Chan

Ken is a Solutions Architect at Softchoice and has been in the IT and telecommunications industry for over 15 years.