This article originally appeared in the March 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY.
Traditional technology networks can easily become crowded, leading to slow application response times, employee frustration, lower productivity, and often unexpected costs for a company. National and global organizations with end users distributed across tens, hundreds or even thousands of locations across the globe are always looking for fast and affordable access to applications.
For many companies, wide area network optimization technology holds the answer because more data can traverse the network quickly and unencumbered. Employees can more efficiently fulfill business tasks, leading to less waiting, less frustration, increased productivity and avoidance of costly WAN bandwidth upgrades.
WAN optimization previously was used as a fix or considered an expensive privilege for most companies. But the technology has matured; more products are available at better prices, and the general benefits to a company have increased. With a single upfront cost and a payback period of six to 18 months, WAN optimization is now more a general utility – a regular part of a company’s IT landscape and data center infrastructure.
Through data reduction and prioritization techniques, WAN optimization provides a hard dollar payback and helps avoid the costs associated with bandwidth upgrades, which can run hundreds of thousands of dollars. There also is a soft dollar payback in terms of increased workforce productivity.
Because WAN optimization enables a company to move servers from remote locations to a central data center, this consolidation lowers management and monitoring costs, simplifies data security and meets regulatory requirements. In addition, with the growth of data volumes and the distance between data centers to help protect data from catastrophic disasters, increased pressure is being placed on the WAN.
It’s clear that WAN optimization is becoming a welcome part of the IT landscape. But to ensure its success, companies must put in the time upfront to listen to internal stakeholders, and to examine different technology vendors and the varied needs of the company. If they do, WAN optimization is an indispensable technology that will continue to provide returns to the business as it matures.
Ron Jackson is network product manager at Forsythe (www.forsythe.com).
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Edited by Stefania Viscusi