WAN Optimization Minimizes Bandwidth Dependency

By Shawn Cooney  |  Posted 2009-11-17 Print this article Print

WAN optimization minimizes bandwidth dependency

WAN optimization minimizes the dependency on more bandwidth. WAN optimization technologies have brought down the bandwidth side of the cost equation for data recovery. They have made it possible for small and midsize businesses to consider, if not implement, data replication.

Realistically priced WAN optimization technologies have also encouraged larger enterprises to extend replication to remote offices as a result of reducing bandwidth utilization and costs.

WAN optimization virtual appliances take data recovery to the next level. Just as virtualization technologies have been a boon to server consolidation and application availability, software-based WAN optimization virtual appliances are a boon to any company looking to protect its corporate data. WAN optimization virtual appliances provide the same or greater increases in effective WAN bandwidth and throughput, for much less cost.

A virtual appliance runs on top of industry-standard servers, supporting virtual machine hypervisors such as VMware ESX and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V. Much like a hardware WAN optimization appliance, virtual appliances are deployed in the data center and at each branch location. They work together to intercept and accelerate data moving back and forth.

The primary differences between the virtual and physical WAN optimization appliances are cost and flexibility. Hardware appliances are typically expensive and come with strict, closed configurations not associated with software. This means the appliance vendor controls hardware upgrades, which could lag x86 server advances and scaling capabilities. This results in expensive, user-disruptive forklift upgrades. Acquisition and total operational costs of hardware WAN optimization appliances can be as much or more than the total costs of servers and maintenance at the branch office.

Shawn Cooney is Director of Research at Certeon. Shawn has more than 25 years of experience in information and network security. He has expertise in digital rights management, MPEG compression and networking security. Shawn holds a patent in audio and video compression over IP networks. He was also a member of the IETF MPEG 4 Systems and Digital Rights Management committees. Prior to Certeon, Shawn founded software copyright protection and digital media companies, and was a senior consulting engineer at EMC. He can be reached at scooney@certeon.com.

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