What is WAN optimization?
WAN optimization, also known as WAN acceleration, is the category of technologies and techniques used to maximize the efficiency of data flow across a wide area network (WAN). In an enterprise WAN, the goal of optimization is to increase the speed of access to critical applications and information.
WAN optimization encompasses:
- traffic shaping, in which traffic is prioritized and bandwidth is allotted accordingly.
- data deduplication, which reduces the data that must be sent across a WAN for remote backups, replication, and disaster recovery.
- compression, which shrinks the size of data to limit bandwidth use.
- data caching, in which frequently used data is hosted locally or on a local server for faster access.
- monitoring the network to detect non-essential traffic.
- creating and enforcing rules about downloads and Internet use.
- protocol spoofing, which is a method of bundling chatty protocols so they are, in effect, a single protocol.
WAN optimization vendors include Blue Coat Systems, Cisco, Expand Networks, F5 Networks, Juniper and Riverbed Technology.
Learn More About IT:
> Michael Morisy explains WAN optimization's potential for telecoms.
> SearchNetworkingChannel.com has collected WAN optimization learning resources in this tutorial.
> Wiley offers this WAN optimization ebook.
Read our in-depth expert analysis of the top WAN optimization products on the market.
Considering purchasing a WAN optimization appliance? Read our expert advice on the WAN optimization techniques to consider before making a purchase.
Read expert reviews of Barracuda, Cisco's Meraki, Dell's SonicWALL, Riverbed Steelhead and SilverPeak, to help you determine which WAN optimization appliance is right for your organization.