6 Methods to Optimize WAN
"WAN (Wide Area Network) optimization addresses two classes of problems — scarce bandwidth and high latency," says Joe Skorupa, Research Analyst, Gartner. The effects of these problems make it difficult to transmit large amount of data across the network as traffic and congestions arise. To mitigate this, enterprise CIOs are finding ways to improve the performance of WAN, making it highly redundant for operation. So here are some approaches that will lead to a high performance and high availability of Enterprise level WAN.
Data deduplication: Data deduplication is often termed as ‘Intelligent compression’, where memory usage in data storage is reduced by eliminating redundant data. This data compression technique replaces the similar data with an index reference that serves as a path to the stored data. As this method offers a byte level benefit it stores data and allows users to access data whenever required. This program can also be implemented on the data passing through the hardware and software based WAN acceleration appliances.
Optimize network latency: Latency is the measure of delay between an action and a response, and the optimization of network latency will enhance TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)—including window-size scaling, selective acknowledgements, Layer 3 congestion control algorithms. Also there will be a rise in the performance of network applications.
Caching: Caching involves staging of data in local memory caches in order to speeding up the data transmission process over the WAN. This caching technique becomes important when the same data or application is accessed again and again.
Forward error correction: This is a method of controlling error in the transmission of data by allowing transition of information from a single source to multiple destinations. This helps to improve efficiency in high-traffic WAN. There are three types of forward error correction—Block codes, Convolutional codes, concatenated forward error correction codes. Forward error correction technique is deployed when re-transmissions are costly and data is broadcasted to multiple destinations.
Connection limits and Equalizing: Networks are sometimes congested and such high traffic networks need immediate priority on the basis of data usage. Equalizing helps in making intelligent assumptions in the identifying critical networks. With this users get slower response time. The amount of time allowed for transaction is controlled by the connection limits in WAN optimization which prevents access gridlock and denial of service, cutting of certain users from accessing the bandwidth.
Packet shaping: Packet shaping also known as ‘Traffic shaping’ is a form of rate limiting practice used to manage and control traffic on the network. In case of saturation in data line, congestion in the network (whether upstream or downstream) takes place and this practice reduces the latency in the network. It is a basic thumb rule that smaller the volume of data sent through network better is the network performance.
For an enterprise whose IT systems are not much developed can optimize their WAN by signing up with vendors—Blue Coat Systems, Cisco, Expand Networks, F5 Networks, Juniper and Riverbed Technology who will do the needful.