When networks become congested with bandwidth-hungry applications and inefficient network technologies, it can resemble your typical home plumbing nightmare – backed-up, corroded piping sending murky, slow-moving water into your waiting basin. Not exactly the refreshing splash you were anticipating.
Fortunately, when my water pipes are congested because of corrosion from rust and mineral deposits, or temporarily clogged by residue, I only pay for the amount of water I consume, turning the water ‘off’ until I can resolve the problem. But that’s not the case when my network is congested. I still pay every month for the amount of bandwidth purchased, even though I may only use a small portion of it because of unnecessary, excess data clogging it, limiting its full use.
A slow and unreliable network not only causes turmoil for employees and customers, but also it places tremendous strain on the IT department as well. IT personnel get bogged down from fielding call complaints and spending valuable time trying to resolve the problem.
There are many reasons for network congestion. It can be from too many applications and users competing for the same limited bandwidth, applications and network protocols that add unnecessary data that cause slow content delivery and application download times. Transport and application protocols cause congestion as they can involve many turns (often hundreds or thousands) to complete a single transaction. When users are located far from the data center, latency can cause errors and slow delivery, making the network unreliable. When repetitively accessed data is routinely requested by users, the network can become saturated with requests for the same files, creating slow response times.
Fixing the pipes
To overcome these problems, WAN optimization solutions use a diverse arsenal of technologies to alleviate network problems. Just as a plumber needs to use the right tool or remedy for the situation, WANop solutions apply different technologies to address the many challenges that networks face.
Some of these technologies include de-duping, caching, and compression that squeeze more bandwidth into WAN links. Forward Error Correction (FEC) fixes bit errors to improve application performance and Packet Order Correction (POC) avoids re-transmissions when packets arrive out-of-order. Other technologies include traffic shaping, protocol acceleration, and more. You can check out Silver Peak’s website to learn more.
If you are responsible for your company’s network performance and reliability, you might think of yourself as a high-tech plumber–and a WAN optimization solution could be the perfect tool to fix your clogged network.