Nov 16, 2011
One of the most spectacular effects of a cloudy sky following a storm is the rainbow that often appears. While rainbows are often preceded by violent storms that might otherwise make us cold, wet, and uncomfortable, looking up afterward to see an incredibly colorful arch in the sky somehow makes us feel better. As children, we may have even found ourselves trying to pinpoint the end of a rainbow, imagining some Utopian place where everyone is walking around in wonder.
Oh yeah…and then there’s “the pot of gold!”
You might wonder what rainbows and stormy weather have to do with data center technology or WAN optimization. Well, with cloud computing in particular, there are some direct parallels.
IT professionals who are responsible for managing cloud infrastructures are keenly aware of the challenges in maintaining network performance and reliability. They are challenged to keep costs down and create an infrastructure that supports scalability and high end-user productivity. These factors represent “weathering the storm,” and when everything is working well, this is what I like to refer to as the “rainbow effect” of a well-functioning cloud environment.
Just as the weather is unpredictable, cloud infrastructures also face unpredictable traffic demands and application performance challenges that can wreak havoc on networks, data centers, and remote offices all connecting to the cloud. While we can’t prevent bad weather from happening, we have learned to prepare for it by designing buildings that structurally endure harsh weather, boarding up windows, sandbagging, and warning people to evacuate.
In the IT world, we are also empowered to prepare for the unexpected. With virtual WAN optimization, we now have the power and flexibility to build our cloud and data center networks to withstand unexpected traffic congestion, reduce the bandwidth-consuming effects of redundant data, overcome latency challenges for long-distance users, and easily build-in “bursting” capabilities to address anticipated spikes in cloud-based application usage. (Look for a future blog post to address this last point)
The value virtual WAN optimization offers for the cloud is like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And while the pot of gold is a mythical legend, WAN optimization is the real thing.
Consider, for example, the amount of money that can be saved each month by avoiding WAN connection upgrades to support a disaster recovery site. Then consider each WAN link that supports a number of different regions where you do business. Can you feel the gold coins rolling through your hands yet?
Virtual WAN optimization not only saves on hardware costs, it also saves on rack space, power, international shipping charges, and deployment time. Combine this with the already-proven benefits of WAN optimization on links with high packet loss and latency, and you get a more reliable network that makes end-users and IT support personnel more productive.
You may not be the leprechaun guarding the pot of gold, but you can consider yourself lucky (even if you’re not Irish) that you have found a solution to your WAN infrastructure needs. If you’ve experienced the benefits from using virtual WAN optimization within a cloud infrastructure, I’d like to hear your story.