Wide areas networks (WANs) are essential to the majority of businesses, connecting remote locations and individuals back to centralised IT resources. But as the network is expected to handle more bandwidth intensive applications such as voice and video it is essential to ensure the WAN usage is well managed - eliminating unwanted traffic and accelerating business content
- The majority of businesses deploy wide area networks (WANs) to connect the remote parts of the business back to centralised resources For most a private network is unaffordable so they rely on virtual privatenetworks across shared public infrastructure, predominantly the internet
- Internet traffic continues to grow apace, doubling in volume and speed every two yearsThe applications driving this growth such as voice and video communications are more bandwidth hungry
- Achieving high performance across public networks is paramount for ensuring individuals and business processes are productive This requires getting access to priority bandwidth - which has a cost - and making sure that employees are using that bandwidth productively
- Unnecessary traffic needs to be stopped This includes junk email and unproductive end-user activity on the internet but also ensuring that business applications running over the WAN are not too chatty
- The "wanted" traffic needs to be accelerated Using compression, local caching, stream splitting and other techniques it is possible to accelerate "good" data to remote users and reduce the overall use of bandwidth
- Don't try and do it all at once, address the fundamentals first Make sure the best affordable connections are in use, that they are secure and reliable, that the whole network is moving wanted data as quickly as possible and that employees are not wasting time online
A high performance WAN is a key part of the foundation on which today'sbusinesses are built. It enables flexible working, which increasingly carries anenvironmental message, underpins sound business processes and enables effective communications within organisations and with customers, partners and suppliers. Failure to address WAN performance issues will be to the detriment of most other areas of a business's activity.
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