by February 1, 2009 0 comments



Every organization today is pressurizing their IT department to provide more
solutions to save costs. Some of the most common answers being given to cater to
this demand are to deploy video conferencing, VoIP, and different types of
collaborative applications. This is not surprising, considering that travel and
communication form a significant portion of every organization’s budget. While
these solutions can indeed bring about considerable cost savings, they will
really stress your WAN infrastructure. Given this perspective, every CIO needs
to add WAN optimization and management to his strategy for combating the
slowdown, if not already done.

The WAN infrastructure itself consumes a significant portion of every CIO’s
IT budget, which can’t be ignored. So one part of the strategy is to optimize
your WAN links to ensure that they’re ready to take on the load of new services.
This itself can lead to considerable cost savings. Moreover, the benefits of
doing this would be visible immediately. For instance, after a deep analysis,
you discover where the bandwidth is being mis-used and put a stop to it. The
results of this would be immediately visible, in terms of faster response time
over the WAN links. It would also be easy to calculate which additional services
can you load onto the spare bandwidth.

The other part of the strategy is to enhance the WAN infrastructure, in case
it’s not able to handle more applications and services. So you discover that
your existing WAN links don’t have any room for deploying VoIP services. This
would require exploring additional investments into more WAN equipment like WAN
accelerators, VPN servers, higher bandwidth, etc. The ROI on this would not be
immediately visible, but would have to be calculated. So you would have to
analyze your existing voice communication cost, and then compare it with the
cost of deploying VoIP over your WAN infrastructure. Likewise, you would have to
do for introducing other services like video conferencing, DR and BCP, branch
office automation, etc.

In this story, we’ve tried to tackle both sides of the picture by giving you
a mix of theoretical as well as practical advice. In theory, we’ve covered
different types of VPN solutions available for enterprises today as well as a
deep drill-down into QoS aspects. Today, there are so many applications that can
be deployed over a WAN, making it essential to have a thorough understanding of
QoS.

On the practical side, we’ve talked about how to deploy different kinds of
VPN solutions from the Open Source and the commercial world. We’ve taken various
scenarios where they can be deployed. Plus, another key element in most WANs
today are the accelerators, or devices that enable faster communication over WAN
links. We’ve reviewed some of the best WAN accelerators out there, and even put
down essential things you must know before buying one for your organization.

Besides these, we’ve covered many other key aspects about WAN management and
optimization. For instance, today every CIO or WAN manager is grappling with
trying to determine how much bandwidth is used up by different types of services
like voice, and video. We’ve done some in-depth tests in our lab to bring you
some answers.

We hope our story helps you make your organization’s communication more
efficient and effective. In case you have any questions about WAN management,
then feel free to put them up on
http://forums.pcquest.com
.



Scenario 1: Branch office to Data Center Connectivity

There’s a significant cost involved in managing the IT infrastructure of
branch offices. WAN Accelerators can be used to centralize some of
infrastructure without taking a performance hit, but still save costs


VoIP: How Much Bandwidth ?

The quality of VoIP not only depends on the amount of bandwidth but also
on the codecs used by different VoIP applications


Scenario 2: Enable working from home

Another measure that can be taken to save costs in the organization is
to encourage the concept of working from home. However, this would require
improvements in WAN connectivity to allow smooth access


Scenario 3: WAN optimization for SaaS Based Solutions

Software as a Service is a growing trend, which could be enhanced with
the help of WAN accelerators


Riverbed’s Steelhead Products

We received two WAN Accelerators from Riverbed, meant for office to office
and office to mobile connectivity. Both products gave excellent WAN
acceleration across a range of test scenarios we subjected them to


Before Buying a WAN Accelerator

As the load on an organization’s WAN links increases, there’s a need to
optimize the bandwidth before purchasing more. WAN accelerators help you do
that. Here’s what to look for when buying one


Understanding Quality of Service in WANs

For any organization, the communication network is crucial. We discuss
here in detail all you need to know about why and where QoS is required,
obtaining a certain QoS etc.


Demystifying VPNs

Virtual Private Network (VPN) enables you to bring together telecommuters,
branch offices and business partners. We discuss here in detail all you need
to know about VPNs

How
to Deploy a VPN Server

All types of Virtual Private Networks can be configured on Windows
Server 2k8 and Open Source OS like a breeze. In this article we show you how
to do it on Win 2k8 server & Open VPN

A
New VPN Protocol for Windows

As said earlier, Windows Server 2008 has support for a new type of VPN
called SSTP with client support on Windows Vista SP1. Let’s see how to
deploy a VPN using SSTP


Glossary of important WAN terms

We all know what WANs are and would be familiar with basic equipment
used to build them. So instead of covering that, we bring you some new terms
you need to know about WANs today

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