Jan 31, 2012
If your enterprise is feeling the ill effects of poor WAN performance, you may assume it’s a bandwidth problem. If you invested in more bandwidth and a bigger pipe to ease the pain, and the problem persisted, the problem may be due to packet loss, latency or bandwidth-hungry applications, such as streaming video.
If you’re like me, when you’re feeling sick and the basic medicines aren’t helping, sometimes a doctor that knows far more about the issue can help relieve the problem. Similarly, if you are responsible for ensuring your WAN’s reliability and performance, you may be frustrated by not having insights into the underlying limitations of your network. But, with the right tools and visibility, you can make a much more informed decision in dealing with your WAN capacity issues.
There’s no question that data center consolidation can save significant capital and operating expenses. Data center consolidation can dramatically save deployment, maintenance and support costs by reducing the number of servers and remote IT staff — and by lowering IT infrastructure complexity. Many enterprises will modify and consolidate redundant data center facilities to reduce costs associated with power, cooling, efficiency and space.
Network IT personnel should be able to implement data center infrastructure so it makes the most business sense, without worrying about the impact that WAN performance will have on remote user productivity. However, that’s not always the case. With all the benefits data center consolidation brings, it puts additional strain on the WAN, as increasing amounts of traffic must pass between the data center and remote and mobile workers. Inevitably, this leads to poor application performance and slow response times for branch offices, telecommuters and mobile workers.
While the Internet, VPNs, and MPLS networks have many advantages, they also have inherent problems. In this case, the benefits rendered by data center consolidation are now causing new problems that affect user productivity, business communications and commerce.
WAN optimization solutions have become essential for data center consolidation and data migration. Data center-class WANop solutions are capable of reducing network bloat by eliminating over 95% of unnecessary and redundant traffic using disk-based de-duplication and compression. Enterprises can use WAN optimization to consolidate data and IT resources within fewer data centers – eliminating the need to upgrade WAN capacity in those locations. WANop allows large data transfers over the existing networks, which is vital for data migration. By enabling massive amounts of data to be moved to new locations quickly and cost effectively, enterprises can avoid additional monthly costs to upgrade existing bandwidth.
By localizing content delivery, and coupling it with latency mitigation techniques such as TCP and CIFS acceleration, enterprises can ensure all centralized applications work across the WAN — with LAN-like performance. To further reduce network bloating and congestion, WANop solutions can alleviate network performance challenges due to packet loss that is common with the Internet, IP VPNs and MPLS networks.
WAN optimization vendors, and Silver Peak in particular, have adaptive Forward Error Correction (FEC) and real-time Packet Order Correction (POC) technologies that improve WAN quality by ensuring traffic is delivered reliably, without requiring additional packets to be sent to compensate for lost packets.
When resources are consolidated within data centers, congestion becomes a very tangible problem. WAN optimization can address this with quality-of-service (QoS) to ensure essential applications are not adversely impacted by non-critical applications, and real-time traffic is prioritized for optimal performance.
Data center consolidation can affect all users, as they now contend for shared resources. This is particularly true for remote users located farther away from centralized servers and storage. These users can experience inconsistent, unreliable and slow application response time.
To keep network IT personnel from having upset stomachs caused by WAN problems and calls from disgruntled users, look into how WAN optimization can help alleviate WAN pain associated with data center consolidation.