Tiny Frog

Network Performance: Size Doesn’t Matter!

Tiny FrogIt’s true. When it comes to network performance, size doesn’t matter… or at least, the size of the business doesn’t matter (traffic volumes are another question/column).

According to new data from AMI, Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) are rapidly moving to the cloud to meet storage, infrastructure, security, software application, and collaborative communication needs. The emergence of these lower-cost alternatives to owning, housing, and managing the hardware and software on-premise, coupled with the diversifying role of LANs and WANs — including receiving hosted services, transferring secure data, and maintaining mobile/multi-site connectivity — has led to a rapidly increasing bandwidth demand.

Increasingly, WAN Optimization and Application Acceleration play a critical role in helping to better manage the costs and complexity of their WAN networks. “WAN Optimization is generally very affordable, easy to implement, and can achieve huge cost savings from infrastructure consolidation, bandwidth reduction, and faster/more effective applications — typical return on investment occurs in less than 6 months”, notes Andrew Kirk, AMI associate.

Having stated that size doesn’t matter, this doesn’t mean that all WANOp solutions — and their benefits — are created equal. WAN accelerators are great in some situations and unhelpful, at best, in others. The reality is that the right solution and the right application matter, and it typically depends on what kind of traffic you’re trying to optimize. In cases where you have bulky or repetitive (or ideally both) data flows, WAN accelerators can provide a huge benefit and save you a lot of money. But where you don’t have the right kinds of data flows or the appliance you choose isn’t optimized to handle that particular kind of data, you may not derive much benefit at all.

As with most prospective big-ticket acquisitions, trying before buying is recommended. Most vendors will allow you to test drive an appliance (virtual or physical) on the data you want to optimize to see how it really performs on your network.

According to another new report, the accelerated adoption of virtual appliances in production networks and cloud environments, especially WAN Optimization, is expected to drive the total Data Center Appliance market to $4.0 billion in 2017, a CAGR of just under 10%. “Virtual appliances are a nascent and fast-changing market,” said Casey Quillin, Senior Analyst of Data Center Appliance Market Research at Dell’Oro Group. “We foresee higher-end, higher-priced products that make networks smarter becoming more prevalent. Cloud applications are a perfect example of this.”

So regardless of the size of your organization, or whether you choose to go physical, virtual or a combination of the two, it appears that WAN Optimization will play a bigger role in your network going forward.

Image credit: neil-5110 (flickr)

About the author
Steve Wexler
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.