“Come gather ‘round people wherever you roam. And admit that the waters around you have grown. And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone. If your time to you is worth savin’, then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin’.”
This first verse from one of Bob Dylan’s most famous songs has direct parallels to what network IT engineers deal with every day. No one can deny that the technologies we have today make our lives easier. And I doubt that Dylan ever dreamed about the Internet and the changes it would bring. Remember when watching TV, listening to music on the radio or on a CD player (or maybe a cassette player, depending on your age), buying products at the store, and doing banking didn’t have an Internet connection involved? Today, all of these activities are performed over the Internet by millions of people every day.
Of course, the business opportunities for delivering these products and services are tremendous, and consumers are certainly not lacking places to get amazingly diverse content and services. It’s no wonder IT organizations that deliver these IP-enabled products and services are struggling to keep up with the ever-growing demands. Wherever you go, you can’t avoid seeing people with laptops, cool phones, tablets, and other toys – all connected by vast array of networks.
But if you could peel the onion back a bit and look at what connects all these devices to the content and services that make them so special, you would find a vast system comprised of routers, firewalls, servers, software, security, and above all…the wide area network (WAN). When these systems don’t work well, music quality suffers, banking and other transactions get interrupted, and other content is either delivered too slowly–or not at all. Users pay a price in poor connectivity, and the businesses that deliver their products and services pay the price in lost revenue and potentially lost customers. Plus, when we look at how critical the WAN is today for doing business and making customers happy, it’s being pushed to the limit more than ever.
Fortunately, WAN optimization products are available to enable network IT personnel to gain control over their WAN infrastructure. These appliances are used to efficiently and effectively manage and optimize WAN bandwidth and applications. These tools are essential for ensuring that the network is able to support current and future traffic demands.
So, to that end, I’ve updated Dylan’s song–just for you:
“Come gather ‘round IT people wherever you roam. And admit that the network traffic around you has grown. And accept it that soon your network will be congested to the bone. If your time to you is worth savin’, then you better start optimizing your WAN, or it will sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin’.”