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Emerging Technology

Understanding WAN Acceleration and How It Can Benefit Your Business ROI

WAN acceleration can provide immediate benefits and return on investment which is clearly noticeable across your business. There are numerous benefits to be realized when you control the traffic to remote locations.

WAN Accelerators are a technology which provides a broad range of protocols and applications which are used to optimize a Wide Area Network (WAN). The technologies can include but are not limited to optimization of certain protocols, low level and bit level compression, and a variety of techniques which are used to improve the user experience over a WAN.

If you are uncertain about Wide Area Network (WAN) Acceleration and what it can do for your business, let’s take a look at what WAN Accelerators are, how they work, and the different ways that WAN Accelerators can benefit your business and improve ROI.

WAN Acceleration Defined

WAN Accelerators are a category of techniques and technologies which are used to optimize the flow of data across a Wide Area Network. The primary goal of using WAN accelerators is to increase productivity by speeding up the process of accessing mission critical applications and business data.

WAN Accelerators are designed to make file transfer speeds faster while optimizing the performance of business applications for remote office locations. This can be a big plus if a high percentage of your workers are located at branch offices.

WAN Acceleration is referred to using a variety of different terms. The most popular terms are WAN Acceleration and WAN Optimization. You may also come across other terms which define WAN Acceleration such as Bandwidth Acceleration, Wide Area Network Application Services (WAAS), and Application Acceleration, to name a few terms.

Regardless of the term which is used, WAN Accelerators have a primary purpose which is to accelerate access to business applications and speed up business productivity at remote locations. This type of technology also improves the disaster recovery process, data backup efficiency, and replication.

How WAN Accelerators Work

WAN Accelerators serve to improve the traffic flow process by prioritizing traffic so bandwidth is allocated more efficiently. Other purposes which WAN Accelerators serve include:

  • Deduplication: A WAN Accelerator provides intelligent compression which is also known as data deduplication. This reduces redundant data which, in turn, cuts back on the amount of data being transmitted over a Wide Area Network. The end result is improved data flow, backup and storage, and disaster recovery.
  • Caching: WAN Accelerators monitor data which is frequently used. The data is then stored on a local server where it can be accessed faster and more efficiently.
  • Network Monitoring: When a WAN Accelerator is deployed, it can monitor a network to identify traffic which is not essential to core business functions. It then controls the traffic through prioritization to improve the efficiency of data flow.
  • Compression: WAN Accelerators assist with compression which reduces the size of data packets and enhances bandwidth.

When you implement WAN Accelerators, the appliance is placed between a Wide Area Network router and the main servers. Another WAN Acceleration application is then placed in the same place at each remote office location for the purpose of caching frequently used files. Only the file modifications are replicated while the WAN Accelerator compresses the data to optimize network traffic and protocols.

The end result is faster performance for applications and easy access to files which can be up to 75 times faster than a WAN that does not use WAN Acceleration techniques. This speeds up productivity and reduces Wide Area Network usage by as much as 80 percent. This enhances your Return on Investment (ROI) since you are not required to purchase as much bandwidth for remote office locations.

Immediate Benefits

WAN Accelerators can be installed without interrupting current network processes. Once the appliance places the initial data transfer in the cache, you will begin to see the benefits in terms of speed and performance. It is important to keep in mind, the difference in performance applies to traffic and data being transmitted over the Wide Area Network to a remote location. WAN Accelerators typically do not enhance applications which are connection dependent. These are communication applications such as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), video conferencing, and collaborative applications delivered in real-time.

Workers and telecommuters that are mobile can also immediately benefit from WAN Accelerators. Most providers of WAN Acceleration applications offer solutions which are compatible with mobile devices such as tablet PCs and laptops. The solutions basically provide the same enhanced performance you receive with WAN Accelerators on a Wide Area Network.

When you use a quality WAN Acceleration provider, it can significantly impact business productivity with faster file transfers, database access, industry-specific applications, and other business architectures such as Microsoft Exchange.

To learn more about WAN Acceleration services, contact Thrive Networks to speak with one of our experts.

WAN Accelerators have a primary purpose which is to accelerate access to business applications and speed up business productivity at remote locations.