With current IT management dictating that more and more resources move from the local area network (LAN) to the wide area network (WAN), enterprise dependency on WAN is on the rise. Thus, the criticality of WAN management in the enterprise is increasing. Business-critical applications, from real-time voice and video to data storage, are being moved to WAN-based solutions, making WAN a central component of business operations and business continuity.
This shift in WAN requirements is placing increased cost and performance pressure on traditional WAN solutions, which either pose the exorbitant costs of private WAN services (as pricing has not degraded at pace with other connectivity solutions) or are burdened by the unreliability of the public internet. This paper will explore how next-generation WAN strategies, specifically WAN optimization and virtualization, address emerging enterprise WAN requirements while improving on the cost and performance of traditional solutions.