18 July 2011

WAN Optimization as a Service Cuts Costs, Increases Efficiency and Capacity

Whether you’re operating a mobile, fixed or converged network, companies are facing unprecedented demand from customers for an improved quality of experience. Network optimization can ensure that your business is operating as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

The Wide Area Network (WAN) is notoriously expensive and offers much less bandwidth, whereas the Local Area Network (LAN) has bandwidth to spare (at least 100 MB, and often 1 GB), according to WAN optimization as a service providerExpand Networks (News - Alert). The same thinking that went into connecting local users will not work as you connect your remote users. With less bandwidth, and the high cost of increasing that bandwidth, the business is forced to run applications in a constrained environment. Therefore, WAN optimization can help enterprises save tangible dollars by wiping out the need to buy more bandwidth.

WAN optimization as a service products accelerate such applications by data and bandwidth compression, elimination of transmission redundancy, data prioritization, streamlining, imposing Quality of Service (QoS), and optimization of protocols and WAN solutions. By using WAN optimization as a service devices, data transaction time between sites can be improved, according to Expand Networks. As a recent example, Expand Networks spearheaded a company-wide server consolidation project at Thompsons Solicitors, one of the leading personal injury practices in the U.K., according to a recent TMCnet report.

Thompsons’ server consolidation strategy was essentially to simplify its IT infrastructure and reduce costs across the organization. The firm, which operates in an MPLS environment for WAN connectivity between its headquarters and 26 locations in the U.K., relies on the performance of its WAN to deliver applications and business data to their distributed users’ desks quickly and securely. For this reason, WAN optimization as a service was critical for Thompsons.

With the help of Expand Networks, Thompsons was able to move forward with its wider server consolidation project while ensuring a consistent user experience for the branch offices, according to Andrew Harris, IT operations manager at Thompsons.

“We ran a trial to test the impact of the consolidation in just one of our offices and quickly realized that building WAN optimization into the project was a must,” he said. “Serving our remote locations via Citrix, we knew that being able to optimize and control this ICA traffic was key to the whole project.”

In many cases, WAN optimization as a service technology can protect business-critical traffic, while at the same time dramatically increase usable WAN capacity. Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TMCnet, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

1 comment: