WAN Optimization in the Era of the Distributed Workforce

Systems Software WAN Optimization

Business networks have grown much more complex in recent years. Take the branch office for example. According to an article on Search Networking, WAN Optimization Policy Goes Deep (1), branch offices used to have modest network requirements but now often strain the WAN as workers access virtual desktops, applications, and data centers from a myriad of devices.

Some of the issues affecting distributed networks include:

  • Branch offices – Often located across oceans, branch offices need reliable, cost-effective access to the WAN. Unfortunately, MPLS struggles to deliver reliable performance across oceans (and it’s expensive).
  • Virtual machines – Virtual machines are hosted, requiring reliable access simply to begin working. If the network is clogged, the performance of virtual machines invariably suffers.
  • Remote employees and BYOD – Telecommuting has become much more common. At the same time, those who do come into the office often bring their own devices. Both of these trends can strain the network.
  • Cloud applications – Cloud-based applications are certainly convenient, allowing remote employees to access them from any computer. However, like virtual machines hosted in the cloud, network bottlenecks affect application performance.

 
The growing complexity of business networks makes WAN optimization a necessity. After all, if branch and remote employees cannot reliably access their desktops, applications, and data, productivity and morale will go down.

WAN Optimization as a Service

According to the WAN optimization policy article on Search Networking, application acceleration and WAN optimization policies now consider user identities, roles, location, and time of day as part of WAN optimization implementations. This can ensure priority access during peak times such as the beginning of the day when workers initially log in. By using WAN optimization at the user level, it becomes possible to ensure prioritize sufficient bandwidth for defined users and roles (2).

For example, the article discussed a CTO who needed access to an Excel file from a server on the other side of the world across the WAN. Before implementing Aryaka’s WAN Optimization-as-a-Service, it would take 10 to 20 minutes for the CTO to receive the file. After implementing the service and configuring user-based priority, this same file could be delivered in less than a minute.

Though more complex than ever, business networks can benefit from a new breed of WAN optimization: WAN Optimization-as-a-Service.

Works Referenced:
(1). http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/feature/WAN-optimization-policy-goes-deep-Think-user-time-location
(2). http://www.aryaka.com/products/wan-optimization-as-a-service/

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