WAN optimization is about improving the performance of business applications over WAN connections. Most networks carry a variety of traffic types of differing characteristics and importance. Many organizations are striving to manage this traffic to optimize the response times of critical applications and reduce costs, given that bandwidth continues to represent a significant proportion of operating expenditure for wide-area data networks. But the cost of bandwidth isn't the only consideration — matching the allocation of WAN resources to business needs is also
important. And as resources are increasingly centralized, minimizing the effect of latency on application response times is becoming a critical requirement. In addition, virtualization and new application environments such as cloud computing and Web services can put an unexpected strain on the network.
- Ensuring fair access for mission-critical applications during periods of congestion by prioritizing business-critical traffic, through quality of service (QoS) policing and traffic shaping, for example
- Minimizing the effects of network latency using methods like protocol- and application-specific optimization
- Reducing the bandwidth required to transfer WAN traffic, by compressing it.
Before purchasing, ensure the vendors being considered offer the product capabilities and support required by your application mix.