Tag Archives | WAN Optimization

Getting the Best Performance from your WAN

Understanding application response times between infrastructure components is critical to managing end-user experience. As the bridge between infrastructure and application performance management, CA Application Delivery Analysis (CA ADA) provides unified end-user experience monitoring — a single source of truth on how network behavior impacts the overall end user experience.  It enables quick identification, diagnosis and resolution of transaction problems caused by the network.

As those of you in the IT trenches already know, WAN optimization efforts can make it difficult to maintain visibility before and after optimization. Previously, CA Technologies worked with Riverbed to introduce Riverbed Services Platform-based monitoring with the release of CA ADA 9.1. However, in order to address Riverbed’s decommissioning of RSP last year, CA ADA takes on a new approach with SPAN based monitoring. While maintaining the necessary visibility to ensure application performance, it also provides new compression reports comparing data sent from the servers and how much actually crossed the WAN.

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What happens to the WAN in the cloud?

Cloud computing represents such a shift in the high-tech industry that it will affect how IT domains operate, manage and deliver services – including local and wide-area networks. Recent attention is being paid to the network operations teams and applications traversing WANs as more companies consider moving services into the cloud, and according to industry watchers, the focus on WANs is warranted.

In a recent white paper, Ipanema Technologies detailed its approach to WAN governance and cloud computing. The paper also offers insight into the challenges enterprise IT organizations could face when implementing cloud computing. According to the published report, the trend is clear and enterprise IT departments are embracing cloud computing. And these same IT departments must also face the challenges cloud computing will represent to current operations. The network will be tasked to ensure applications are delivered to local, wide-area and mobile users – regardless of if they are on-premise or in the cloud.

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What’s missing in WAN optimization? Granular application-level visibility

Network managers must not only ensure the local area is performing up to par supporting business applications, but they must also optimize the end-user experience over the wide area. But recent research suggests the current raft of technologies available don’t offer network managers the capabilities they need to keep their WAN optimization practices on pace with emerging technologies.

“IT organizations have more applications running over the WAN, which are challenging high-speed links and making it more difficult to monitor and manage application performance without visibility into network traffic,” says Bojan Simic, principal analyst at TRAC Research. “WAN optimization has become a feature of application acceleration technologies, but today the visibility component is more important as IT organizations report that managing interactive traffic over the WAN has become a significant challenge.”

Simic, who co-authored the report “WAN Acceleration Can’t Do it All” with TRAC Research Editor Tom Karol, says IT organizations expressed the need to gain application-level visibility in WAN optimization products. According to a survey of more than 350 IT organizations conducted between July and September 2010 by TRAC Research, the top challenges for managing application delivery over the WAN are as follows.

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What network managers need to know about cloud computing

IT and business leaders can’t say enough about the potential benefits of cloud computing. But for network managers, the technology could represent a new source of bottlenecks and traffic congestion without proper planning and execution on the underlying network infrastructure.

Cloud computing takes a bite out of IT budgets in 2010

Network management technologies depend on some level of visibility – in most cases, very granular insight into network traffic and performance metrics. But network performance details could increase in volume or become obscured with the introduction of cloud computing. While IT leaders explore the potential of private cloud now and consider evolving to a hybrid or public cloud, industry watchers speculate on how the transition could affect the network.

“The single biggest thing to consider when you put things in the cloud is bandwidth. The state of things is much better today and there are many tools to address that, such as MPLS and WAN optimization technologies, but network engineers need to build a network to avoid any type of bottleneck that might occur when using the public cloud,” says George Hamilton, principal analyst at Yankee Group.

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The Robots Are Coming For You

As Halloween approaches, I’ve got a bit of a horror story to keep you up at night.

There’s an interesting quote that’s somewhat appropriate now.  Well – song lyrics anyway.  “Did you feel you were tricked / by the future you picked?” Which, I’m told, are part of a Peter Gabriel tune for a Pixar movie, but which I only came across when reading speculative fiction about quantum AI computers running 419 scams.

The thing about the future is that by the time it gets here, it’s already the present. Wait, I’m sounding like Criswell there… what I mean to say is that only a couple years ago, the big story in technology was how IT departments were becoming centralized due to advances in virtualization technology that cut down on hardware requirements and power consumption.  Now the next level is cloud computing; an idea, fundamentally, that you can centralize data centers even furtherby centralizing them with the data centers for other companies via a third-party provider.

Taken to an extreme, it’s easy to think of a day when even these cloud computing centers become even further consolidated – perhaps one on each inhabited continent.  “A world market for maybe five computers” indeed…

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WAN Optimization solutions – assuming that they work for the applications you need them to work for – are like magic. Consolidating data centers, from a relativistic standpoint, actually moves users further away, so to consolidate data centers, and lowering costs, WAN performance needs to be good enough for the remote users to do their [...]

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Illustrating TCP Slow Start and WAN Optimization with Mr. Packet

We’ve produced a follow-up to our earlier “The Network Company” video, this time looking at LAN vs. WAN application coding, TCP Slow Start, and WAN Optimization. Instead of giving you a detailed run-down, I’m just going to go ahead and embed it right here. I love any day when I get to smash citrus with [...]

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The WAN and the Virtualized Remote Desktop

Network World’s Jim Duffy’s latest article, “WAN critical to virtualization’s payoff” has me in knots.  It’s well known that by virtualizing servers, you can consolidate them more easily in a single data center; but in order to maintain performance, you need high performing, low-latency WAN connections.  We’ve written about this before, and it’s only more [...]

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XP, Virtually

An interesting post over at Slashdot pointed me over to a Network World story by Mitchell Ashley about how Windows 7 wouldn’t be a compelling upgrade from Windows XP. The interesting aspect is that Ashley goes on to suggest that perhaps the idea of OSes might become irrelevant if you move to thin clients connected [...]

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Riverbed & Mazu, Bluecoat & Lancope, Lenny & Squiggy.

By Steve Harriman Last Tuesday, Riverbed, known primarily for Steelhead, its WAN optimization controller (WOC), acquired Mazu, known primarily for its network behavior analysis detection (NBAD) tool Mazu Profiler. Riverbed said that they’re planning to integrate Mazu’s technology into their own products.  Similarly, Blue Coat, another WAN Optimization vendor, announced earlier today that they are [...]

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Obama Proposes Network Infrastructure Upgrades as Economic Stimulus

President-Elect Barack Obama, recently put a new video on Change.gov, the official Web site of the office of the President-Elect. In the video, Obama is seated in the office of the President-Elect, sitting in the chair of the President-Elect in front of the desk of the President-Elect. And if I had to guess, he’s probably [...]

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WAN Optimization and the AutoCAD Problem – Why Networks Fail (to Perform)

Part 5 in a series adapted from Joel Trammell’s Keynote Speech at NetQoS Symposium 2008 One of the big downsides to WAN Optimization is that you’re breaking up the TCP session that used to be from one end of the network to the other into three independent TCP sessions. To measure the response time after [...]

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