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The Ultimate Guide to Gaining Control of Wan

The Ultimate Guide to Gaining Control of Wan

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Published by Gabriel

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Published by: Gabriel on May 25, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/09/2011

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THEULTIMATEGUIDETOGAININGCONTROLOFTHEWAN
Today’sbusinessesrelyonwideareanetworksmorethaneverbefore,placingunpre-cedented demands on geographically dispersed networks that must function 24x7.This ebook explains the drivers leading to the WAN’s critical role and examines thestrategiesandtechnologiesyoucanemploytomanagetraffic,increaseperformanceandgetcostsundercontrol,whetheryoudoityourselforuseaserviceprovider.
CHAPTER 1WAN INVESTMENTSTHAT SAVE MONEYCHAPTER 2LEVERAGINGWAN RESOURCESWITH SKILLFULMANAGEMENTCHAPTER 3DEPLOYING WANOPTIMIZATION:IN-HOUSE OROUTSOURCE?
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THE COMING YEAR
looks to be atough one, with network managersand their budgets under extremepressure. IT must prove its worthmore than ever before and comeup with ways to save money andincrease productivity. This can beapproached in several ways. Strate-gies include consolidating serversfrom branch offices to the data center;using the latest version of desktop vir-tualization; increasing multimedia andvideo collaboration; moving applica-tions to the Web with service-orient-ed architecture (SOA); and usingSoftware as a Service (SaaS). They areall good ideas and can save significantamounts of money. In the current eco-nomic climate, enterprises are mostlikely considering one or a combina-tion of these technologies.The wide area network (WAN)becomes even more important thanusual for an enterprise because everyone of the above ideas requires arobust WAN. The problem is thatthese technologies put pressure onthe WAN when resources for it aretight. WAN managers will have toinvest in their WAN in 2009 to handlethese new demands, but they mustdo it intelligently. Throwing money atthe problem in the form of bandwidthupgrades is not the answer. There islittle extra money to be found, and ifthere were, that method is not thebest solution. There are better waysto support WAN-intensive projects.
CONSOLIDATINGBRANCH OFFICE SERVERS
The most common and biggestmoney-saving project that enterprisesare embarking on is server consolida-tion. Moving branch office servers toa central data center saves money inmany ways. The first is by reducinghardware cost. Branch office serverutilization is generally below 25%,and there is little that can be doneto improve that. Moving severalservers to the data center and usingvirtualization software allows multiplebranch office servers to be consolidat-ed into one physical server. Consoli-
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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GAINING CONTROL OF THE WAN
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CHAPTER 1
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WANinvestmentsthatsavemoney
Many of today’s cost-saving IT projects are placing excessivepressure on the WAN. Learn how to overcome these chal-lenges with WAN optimization technology.
BY ROBIN LAYLAND
 
dating servers saves on hardwarecost and software licenses and pro-vides a greener and lower-cost solu-tion because it requires less powerand cooling. It also makes mainte-nance easier because all the serversare located in one place. Disasterrecovery becomes easier, as well,because the servers easily fit intothe data center’s disaster-recoveryscheme, rather than being dispersed.Overall, consolidating branch officeservers in the data center is a winnerand a trend that will become evenmore common in a down economy.The problem with a consolidationproject is its effect on the WAN.Data that was local to the user andretrieved over a high-speed local areanetwork (LAN) now must cross theWAN. Normally, this means thatbandwidth must be increased. Buteven with increased bandwidth, therecan be response-time problems thatspeed alone will not solve. The mainproblem is the Common Internet FileSystem (CIFS), the protocol Micro-soft uses to allow programs to makerequests for files and services onremote computers. Initially, it wasvery inefficient over the WAN. Forexample, when CIFS downloaded afile, it asked for a block of data andthen waited for an acknowledgmentbefore asking for the next block ofdata. This inefficient protocol wasnot a problem over a LAN becauseit involved almost no latency. Overthe WAN, it created a slow start-stopprocess, which greatly increased filedownload time. Recent improvementsto CIFS allow it to ask for multipleblocks of data at once, increasing itsefficiency. That has not completelyeliminated the start-stop processover the WAN and long downloads,however.Another problem that server con-solidation introduces is the effect onsome of the services that the serversprovide to local users. Local serversprovide Dynamic Host ConfigurationProtocol (DHCP), domain name sys-tem (DNS), and activity directoryservices and support printing to localprinters. Moving these services to thedata center does not enhance themor provide any significant benefit andinstead can introduce problems. Ifthe link to the data center is down,then branch office users are prevent-ed from performing any networkingfunctions. Even if there are still localservers or alternate routes to theInternet, users can’t take advantageof them without DHCP or DNS. Hav-ing a good backup path in the WANis an important strategy, and if prob-lems do occur it will be necessary tohave DHCP and DNS functions local-ly. Even if the link is up, routing a print job to the data center and then back
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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GAINING CONTROL OF THE WAN
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The problem withconsolidation is itseffect on the WAN.Data that was localon a high-speed LANmust now cross theWAN.

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