The timeless metaphor by English poet John Donne provides many applications for reflection. Far from being islands, Wide-area-networks (WANs) actually interconnect islands of technology, such as data centers, branch offices and islands of individual mobile user devices. Each of these parts is vital to the success of business, commerce and today’s social needs.
“If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less.”
While WANs do connect technology islands, they can become slow because of congestion and latency; and unreliable when packets get lost or out of place. To overcome these problems, WAN optimization and acceleration technologies were developed. Without these important technologies, the globally connected networks we depend upon would be unable to support today’s demands.
In addition to the island metaphor in this poem, Donne blended in another theme – mortality.
“When one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated.”
When I consider WANs and the technologies that support them, rather than seeing their potential for becoming outdated, I think of their potential for advancement. If a WAN becomes slow or unreliable, it doesn’t represent its demise. It can begin anew with bandwidth saving technologies such as protocol acceleration, de-duping, compression, and caching that free up bandwidth; and packet reliability technologies such as forward error and packet order correction that ensure packets arrive at their destination safely and on time.
“Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”
I personally don’t believe there is a “bell to toll” for WANs or their supporting technologies. Actually, with the ever-increasing use of diverse network-connected devices and new businesses with their plethora of new applications, the importance and reliance of WAN infrastructure is going to continue to grow exponentially.
Let me just summarize by saying, don’t let slow and unreliable WAN performance be a cause of striking the final bell for your business. You can protect your islands of technology, by making sure your networks are fast and reliable with WAN optimization solutions that can improve your connectivity, while keeping your IT budgets in check.
Image source: flickr (Edgar Barany)