Sep 6, 2012
According to a new study from Information Week, “The Next-Gen WAN,” the biggest WAN game changer is the cloud, both public and private. Public cloud users will have to shift from the conventional WAN hub-and-spoke design to a distributed model, where services are delivered over Internet connections at each location, to reduce the load over the corporate backbone. IW found that private clouds, in contrast, bring increased focus on the hub-and-spoke model to afford IT control over latency, quality of service, circuit quality, and overall performance.
The growing dependency on data centers means growing demand for more bandwidth and more demand for high-bandwidth data center WAN connections, said the study. Almost half (44%) of the respondents must connect 16 or more branch or remote offices to headquarters or primary data centers, and more than half spend 11% or more of their IT budgets on wide area connectivity. The study found that the median percentage of the typical IT budget spent on WAN services is in the 11% to 15% range, and while 35% expect to increase the amount they spend on the WAN in the next two years, 69% expect demand for WAN bandwidth to increase. Just over half of the respondents use WAN optimization for some or most WAN links.
Cutting costs while maintaining the same levels of security and performance isn’t easy, but the study recommends a number of steps that can help.
Looking ahead, the study said there will be a continuing trend toward Ethernet in the local mile to meet customers’ increased bandwidth requirements. The two messages that came through loud and clear from respondents is that bandwidth is always insufficient, and it’s not the service, it’s the budget. User demand is rising at a faster clip than what companies are willing to pay for.
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Steve is a proficient IT journalist, editor, publisher, and marketing communications professional. For the past two-plus decades, he has worked for the world’s leading high-technology publishers. Currently a contributor to Network Computing, Steve has served as editor and reporter for the Canadian affiliates of IDG and CMP, as well as Ziff Davis and UBM in the U.S. His strong knowledge of computers and networking technology complement his understanding of what’s important to the builders, sellers and buyers of IT products and services.