Can WAN optimization controllers do VoIP compression?

Expert Howard Hooper explains whether WAN optimization controllers can do VoIP compression in this Ask the Expert response.

Are there any type of WAN acceleration techniques that can optimize voice traffic? More specifically, are there...

any WAN optimization controllers that can do VoIP compression over a wide area network?

VoIP packets have proven difficult with WAN optimization vendors in that depending on the particular codec in place, they probably have already undergone a huge amount of optimization (e.g., compression, etc.) before leaving the handset or controller.

The common WAN acceleration approach when dealing with VoIP traffic over a WAN is to provide adequate Quality of Service mechanisms to protect the voice from other less sensitive or critical application traffic that may also be in use over the WAN. This gives voice priority when being sent through the various devices in the data path.

WAN optimization controllers are generally positioned to provide optimization and acceleration for TCP and user application data transfers that occur between offices and data centers connected to a WAN. However, the bandwidth savings that can be provided by the introduction of WAN optimizers on a network can ultimately allow for greater bandwidth to be allocated to a network's voice traffic.

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This was first published in August 2012

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