Top 10 wide area network (WAN) tips for 2011

What were the top 10 wide area network (WAN) tips for 2011? We tracked the most popular pieces on SearchEnterpriseWAN.com to give you the best of the best advice from wide area network experts in the industry. View

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our top 2011 countdown below and read our related piece on the top 10 wide area network (WAN) news stories of 2011.

10. Comparing data center disaster recovery WAN optimization options

While network managers should have a wide area network disaster recovery plan in place, oftentimes data center disaster recovery (DR) backups take too long across the long distances of a wide area network. This is why evaluating data center DR WAN optimization landed a top 10 spot on our top tips for 2011.

9.  Virtual WAN optimization appliance roundup

2011 put virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) challenges to the test, but beyond VDI, virtualizing parts of the WAN became a possibility for many enterprises this year -- even WAN controllers were virtualized. This made optimizing and accelerating applications across a wide area network even more feasible for enterprises. In this top WAN tip, we highlight vendors with virtual WAN optimization appliances.

8. Popular VPN clients: Slideshow

A vital part of any wide area network engineer's job is managing and configuring virtual private network (VPN) connections. This slideshow of popular VPN clients showcased the most used VPNs across the enterprise and presented useful tips on how to choose and deploy the best VPN client for your business.

After over a decade, the news of depleting IPv4 addresses sounded more like the story of the boy who cried wolf. But the "wolf" finally came at the beginning of 2011 when the IANA's pool of ... IPv4 addresses [drained].

7. Branch networking: Comparing branch office routers

Branch office routers can do more than offer simple wide area network connectivity these days. Compare what features vendors are integrating in the branch office routers, such as QoS capabilities and Wi-Fi access.

6. Using QoS to limit bandwidth

In 2011, bandwidth didn't get any cheaper, so finding ways to use it resourcefully was a top-of-mind priority for enterprises.  This top WAN tip explained how using QoS to limit WAN bandwidth can give your business-critical applications priority over more recreational traffic.

5. How to set up WAN simulators to test branch application performance

Assuring a good user experience of WAN-based applications is another fundamental part of a network architect’s job -- one that involves measuring WAN latency. While you can use ping to measure network latency, many IT pros use a WAN simulator to test branch application performance. This top tip for 2011 gives step-by-step directions on how to set up any network simulator.

4: Application delivery optimization: Five tips for success

In discovering WAN latency, a vast majority of IT professionals will realize they need application delivery optimization (ADO). But how do you roll out a successful ADO deployment? Read this article to get five tips for success.

3. Video conferencing bandwidth requirements for the WAN

2011 made it evident that video traffic is acceptable to use in an enterprise for communicating, training and informing. However, video is considered a bandwidth hog, and video over a WAN can usurp more resources than originally planned. We determine the bandwidth requirements to do video conferencing across a WAN in this tip.

2. IPv6 migration strategy

After over a decade, the news of depleting IPv4 addresses sounded more like the story of the boy who cried wolf. But the "wolf" finally came at the beginning of 2011 when the IANA's pool of depleted IPv4 addresses served as a real wake-up call to enterprises that wondered how to begin an IPv6 transition. Expert Irwin Lazar recommends that enterprises at least form an IPv6 migration strategy while security guru Fernando Gont explains why IPv6 won't rid the Internet of network address translation (NAT). He also reveals an IPv6 firewall security flaw that could be rectified with a little background knowledge.

1. MPLS VPN fundamentals

Throughout 2011, misconceptions around MPLS VPNs remained, thanks to the many names that ISPs used to describe the same service. Expert Chris Partsenidis' MPLS VPN tutorial walks us through how MPLS VPNs work, while we cover all the MPLS VPN fundamentals in this comprehensive guide. 

This was first published in December 2011

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