Philip Hunter is correct to note in his “Cloud Crowd” article that the performance of cloud computing relies on the underlying network infrastructure. Irrespective of the type of service deployed, all cloud computing initiatives have one thing in common: data is centralized, while users are distributed. Such a set-up places an increased strain on the network, making cloud computing susceptible to bandwidth, latency and performance challenges. This in turn affects the delivery of the data, which can render cloud services impractical.
While I agree with Mr. Hunter that caching techniques can provide a reasonable boost in network performance, it is a dated process that has too many limitations for the requirements of today’s infrastructure-dependent businesses. WAN optimization really holds the key to overcoming these issues by addressing the challenges in real-time via a range of technologies, such as rebuilding lost packets and ensuring that they are delivered in the correct order, prioritizing traffic whilst guaranteeing the necessary bandwidth, mitigating chattiness and deduping data to avoid repetition.
When it comes to cloud computing in the enterprise, WAN optimization should not only be considered a priority over caching but the missing link that enables organizations to build and maintain a superior network.