“Rather than facing a costly increase in operating expenses by upgrading our bandwidth, we chose to deploy WAN optimization technology that allowed us to initially optimize data replication between our corporate data center and our disaster recovery site,” said Brian Crandall, Global Systems Architect at Nu Skin. “It became clear to us that if we didn’t have a WAN optimization solution in place, we would certainly need to upgrade the network bandwidth to support our growing business.”
Nu Skin ended up choosing Silver Peak’s NX WAN optimization solution over those from Blue Coat, Cisco and Riverbed. Compatibility with EMC was the key selection criteria.
Now, Nu Skin has achieved an 8:1 improvement in bandwidth reduction for traffic going to their disaster recovery site, while seeing a 20:1 improvement in traffic optimization, which significantly increases the response time for their call center employees.
Similarly, Flow International looked at Riverbed and Riverbed only because of that vendor’s tight integration with Citrix products.
WAN optimization shouldn’t be thought of as a short-term solution. If you have bandwidth issues today, don’t expect them to disappear just because you added a new appliance or service to your network. Mobile, video and cloud-based traffic will continue to stream into corporate networks.
As such, having visibility into network capacity, performance and problems is critical. “Through Aryaka’s portal, we have better visibility into available bandwidth than through AT&T’s Business Direct portal [for the AT&T MPLS network],” Ku of Raritan said.
“Through AT&T’s portal, we can see some basic statistics, such as how much bandwidth we’ve used in the past and how many packets are dropping, but Aryaka’s portal gives us better real-time and more comprehensive information.”
Visibility and historical trending, of course, help organizations predict and plan for future bandwidth requirements.
Traditionally, WAN optimization requires dropping boxes into each site – each data center and remote or branch office – that will benefit from the service. Aryaka, on the other hand, offers a cloud-based service, which helps bring down TCO and deliver WAN optimization to the mid-market. However, some large organizations worry they may sacrifice control going this route.
Meanwhile, vendors like Ipanema Technologies, Talari and Xtera offer competitive/complementary WAN virtualization solutions, which enable bandwidth to be aggregated and traffic to be routed optimally over any available private WAN or Internet link (MPLS, frame relay, ISDN, DSL, cable, 4G, etc.).
It’s a confusing market, but if you ask the right questions, you should be able to find a solution that will mesh well with your existing network infrastructure and your ongoing business goals.