As IT environments grow more complex, applications are being delivered from a wide range of sources, including the internet, data centers and other remote sites, placing increasing demands on wide area networks (WANs). Network performance has become critical to efficiently handle latency-sensitive and mission-critical workloads. To meet the increasing need for more responsive, flexible, efficient and available networks, WAN and application performance optimization solutions have arrived to optimize bandwidth, increase visibility and give network administrators the control they need to ensure peak performance. Optimization solutions can also help an organization prepare for the demands of emerging network technologies, such as the Internet of Things.
WAN and application optimization solutions boost performance with various tools and methods, including:
Compression: Data compression applies an algorithm to data flows to remove redundancy wherever possible. The efficiency and effectiveness of a compression scheme is measured by its compression ratio, which compares the size of uncompressed data with compressed data. A compression ratio of 2 to 1, for example, indicates that the compressed data is half the size of the original data.
Deduplication: In a WAN context, deduplication is a form of data compression that conserves bandwidth by reducing the number of bytes transferred between endpoints without adversely affecting data integrity or quality.
Transport Control Protocol acceleration: This approach improves network efficiency and quality without changing the network infrastructure, enabling better throughput on an internet link than standard TCP allows.
SSL optimization: This technique allows SSL traffic to be safely accelerated across an internet connection without sacrificing security.
Protocol optimization: Some legacy file-sharing protocols don't operate efficiently over WAN connections. WAN protocol optimization tweaks these protocols to reduce latency. Protocol optimization can improve the efficiency of traffic that uses the Common Internet File System, File Transfer Protocol, Hypertext Transfer Protocol or Messaging Application Programming Interface, as well as general TCP traffic.
Application optimization and control: This term refers to tools and techniques that improve the reliability, performance and delivery of applications securely across a WAN.
Web caching: This optimization technique is used to temporarily store web pages from any web server to reduce bandwidth usage and server load.
The Power of the Software-Defined WAN
SD-WAN technology is emerging as a networking approach that is able to deliver multiple performance and cost benefits. An SD-WAN supplies the software abstraction necessary to create a network overlay and decouple network software services from the underlying hardware. For any organization managing multiple data centers, private and public cloud environments or critical branch operations, SD-WAN offers several key benefits, including increased agility, enhanced application performance and lower bandwidth costs.
With public and private cloud use rapidly expanding, WAN performance is critical to the handling of latency-sensitive and mission-critical workloads. Therefore, as organizations plan and deploy cloud strategies, WAN architectures should be carefully evaluated for their ability to support workloads, performance, availability and security. SD-WAN can play a key role in achieving performance goals securely, reliably and affordably.
Download the free white paper, "How SD-WAN Can Future-Proof Your Operations," to learn more about:
- the operational and financial benefits provided by SD-WAN
- powerful WAN and application performance optimization products
- the connection between SD-WANs, software-defined networking and the software-defined data center
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