Many businesses rely on wide area networks to connect multiple office locations. Unfortunately, these connections can suffer from bandwidth limitations, high latency, and packet loss.
Instead of recklessly spending money on ever-increasing amounts of bandwidth, businesses can utilize WAN optimization tools to overcome these challenges. These technologies can provide numerous benefits, including boosted LAN/WAN network speeds, quicker file access, and enhanced application performance.
The primary function of WAN optimization is to improve data transmission between a company’s different sites, which are separated by long distances. This helps ensure critical business applications run properly without slowing down or causing other problems. This can boost productivity because employees can access information quickly and complete work efficiently.
In addition to decreasing latency and improving performance, WAN optimization can reduce bandwidth costs by helping businesses get more out of their existing network links. This is because techniques like data deduplication, compression, and caching help decrease the amount of data that needs to be sent across the WAN. This frees up bandwidth that would have been otherwise used for sending redundant data and reduces the need to pay for expensive Multiprotocol Label Switching connections or cloud connectivity.
Wide area network optimization provides several ways to increase speed and reduce congestion on a network, including traffic shaping, where specific types of data are prioritized and bandwidth allocated accordingly; data deduplication, which decreases the number of copies of data that need to be transmitted by sending references or links, data compression, which shortens data size to control bandwidth usage, and caching, in which frequently accessed data is hosted locally to cut down on transmission times. Network monitoring is another feature that constantly observes the network to identify and resolve potential issues that might interfere with performance.
Faster Response Time
Businesses rely on WANs to communicate and share data across different locations, whether between headquarters and remote offices or employees working at home. However, a slow network can negatively affect productivity. This is where WAN optimization comes in.
WAN optimization improves application performance by minimizing latency, reducing data transfer durations, and optimizing bandwidth utilization. This enables fast and efficient file transfers, videoconferencing, and real-time communication between employees in different locations.
Using techniques like traffic shaping, data compression, and protocol acceleration, WAN optimization solutions minimize data transfer size, speeding up transmission times. This allows you to send large files (such as medical images or engineering designs) more easily. Moreover, network monitoring capabilities will enable you to prioritize traffic by identifying and sending critical applications. This helps keep your employees productive even when networks are under stress.
Other WAN optimization techniques, such as caching and data deduplication, reduce file access times by storing repeated data in local caches. This means that whenever an employee needs to access a particular file, the WAN optimization solution retrieves the necessary information from the local store instead of sending it over the WAN link again. This can significantly reduce the amount of data sent over the network, especially if multiple users access duplicate files simultaneously.
WAN optimization minimizes downtime by addressing network problems before they lead to significant outages. It improves the speed and reliability of connections between remote locations, making it easier to transfer data and increase productivity. It also reduces costs by minimizing bandwidth usage and improving resource utilization.
Over time, WAN networks become progressively slower and less reliable due to various factors. These include slow transport services, the time it takes to send and receive acknowledgment receipts, the number of times data must be retransmitted because of packet loss, and other issues. As these factors continue to accumulate, the performance of business applications will degrade over time.
Using methods such as traffic shaping, data deduplication, compression, caching, and streamlining data protocols, WAN optimization can decrease the amount of bandwidth that business-critical applications require. This frees up other applications’ bandwidth and enables employees to work from home or another remote location.
WAN optimization can reduce the time it takes to replicate data to backup systems, which is essential for disaster recovery. It can also help employees regain access to critical applications after a hardware failure or a security breach by reducing latency and minimizing packet loss. By minimizing these issues, WAN optimization can reduce the risk of unplanned outages and costly repairs that impact employee productivity and customer satisfaction.
A company that relies on a vast area network to connect its various locations must always ensure the data flow is fast and reliable. This means ensuring the network connections are not interrupted by hardware failures, outages, or security threats. This requires a solution that can continually monitor and manage the network to identify potential issues that could negatively affect performance.
WAN optimization can reduce costs by improving data transfer efficiency and minimizing bandwidth usage. It can accomplish this by eliminating redundant transmissions, contracting data size through data deduplication or caching, and limiting bandwidth usage through prioritization or streaming data protocols.
Compared to purchasing additional bandwidth, WAN optimization is often a more cost-effective approach to addressing application performance problems caused by high latency or limited bandwidth between remote sites. This is because WAN optimization enables existing network assets to achieve results that would otherwise be unattainable through traditional means without incurring the costs associated with acquiring and installing new networking equipment.
WAN optimization can also make the WAN more fault tolerant by reducing the number of single points of failure that can impact the network and interrupt applications. In addition, many WAN optimization solutions can operate as a software-defined network overlay that can add reliability to routed networks by providing multiple paths to application servers across the WAN.