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Over the past few years, WAN optimization has transformed from a point-product that solved isolated problems into a strategic cornerstone for application delivery. New acceleration capabilities boost user productivity and satisfaction while reducing time to market. WAN optimization can now be more flexibly integrated into environments to accelerate diverse traffic types, and it includes functionality such as inbound QoS, network performance visibility, and application-intelligent control.
Historically, the value of WAN optimization was three-fold.
First, it cut bandwidth use through intelligent deduplication so that, for example, where three or four T1s were once needed to support a branch office, one would simply suffice. Saving bandwidth also drove a defensible ROI – one small capital cost or regular managed service fee could eliminate significant increases in monthly and yearly bandwidth costs. Any CFO could sign up for that business case.
Second, WAN optimization helped businesses overcome the performance problems associated with the regionalization and globalization of their workforces and customer bases. Applied in tandem with data center consolidation, it helped to reduce cost, increase control, and drive efficiency. Users everywhere needed data and application access, but application performance, complex routing infrastructure, and WAN latency stifled the ability to deliver to them LAN-like performance, regardless of where in the world they happened to be. WAN optimization put that challenge to rest.
Third, businesses saw the value of WAN optimization for consolidating remote servers back to the data center. With the performance gains, end users were more productive and complained less, so IT could confidently consolidate and cut costs.
Savings on server capex, support, and maintenance continued to allow the WAN optimization business case to be straightforward and defensible. Moreover, it also was used to consolidate data centers to drive efficiency, reduce both capex and opex, and scale the infrastructure in the data center without costly upgrades.
Now, tens of thousands of enterprises and SMBs deploy WAN optimization solutions. The use cases span branch offices, mobile workers, data centers, and private and public clouds. And solutions are available as a stand-alone product or as a managed offering from system integrators, service providers, and value-added resellers.
With such great results, many businesses determined that the ROI on WAN optimization solutions was in many cases six months or less. As a whole, enterprises have realized ROI in the billions of dollars from this powerful technology. But the truth is, only the surface has been scratched. WAN optimization has evolved into a model for complete enterprise IT performance.
Source: Associated Press