“Run Forrest Run” – WAN Optimization

by Carissa

“Run Forrest Run” – WAN Optimization

by Carissa

by Carissa

Accelerating the Distributed Network

As the work environments of organizations and employees become more distributed, the productivity of users in branch and remote offices becomes increasingly important to the success of the business as a whole. All users need fast, secure access to critical applications from wherever they are working; at headquarters, in branch offices or when traveling. Contradictory to this, for ease of management, enhanced security and compliance, the current trend is to consolidate applications and servers, physically or through virtualization, to fewer, centralized locations,. This simplifies server and application administration but can create performance problems for distributed users. In some cases, a centralized application results in a poorly performing application.


The problem is latency (the delay in responsiveness between systems); another measurement of a network that isn’t often talked about by telecoms and ISPs. That’s because it’s largely outside of their control. Beyond buying the fastest routers or laying more direct cable between locations, there is an inescapable fact: the speed of light. It takes 150ms – about 1/8th of a second – to go over a network from New York to Tokyo when the conditions are right. That doesn’t seem very long, but it’s over 100 times longer than the wait on a Local Area Network (LAN). That turns out to be important, as LAN application best-practice is to use thousands or tens of thousands round trips of small packets for every action. Even 1/8th of a second can add up to a significant delay when thousands of round trips are needed. What was fine at low latency (over the LAN), is often impossible at WAN latencies.

Unaware of this problem, your employees still want to use LAN applications everywhere. They’re lightweight, flexible and easy for them to use – which results in higher productivity and lower support costs. On a LAN, they’re also fast. Ideally, there would be a way to enjoy LAN applications everywhere, regardless of the latency factor.

Of course, we can’t ignore the impact of bandwidth completely. Applications such as email and file shares are now joined on the WAN by a new set of time-sensitive applications, such as Voice and Video. Accommodating those on the WAN, alongside the existing traffic, requires a way to address not only the inherent latency, but also manage bandwidth. The right user needs to access the right application without having to over-buy bandwidth for peak loads or frivolous traffic.

Bluecoat‘s WAN Optimization Solutions accelerate performance to remote users to LAN-like speeds. In addition, policy based controls triage the use of network resources by matching users, applications and content with responsible use policies and your priorities.

The following are business benefits of a WAN Optimization project:

  • Use the Internet instead of expensive private WAN links
  • Reduce costs by delaying the purchase of additional bandwidth
  • Enable key IT mandates, such as server consolidation, outsourcing and SOA
  • Remove redundant and inappropriate traffic to ensure availability at peak times
  • Increased user productivity by faster delivery of applications and data to remote users

Bluecoat’s WAN Optimization Solutions are appliances to be deployed in the remote and headquarters offices. These appliances improve performance in several ways. By deploying WAN Optimization across the network, organizations can improve user performance while reducing costs. Server storage or consolidation can be centralized into the datacenter to reduce administrative expenses without negatively impacting the end user experience. WAN costs can be contained and possibly reduced as duplicate data is removed from the WAN connections. Branch users can become more productive no longer having to wait for applications and data.

Contact your Keller Schroeder Senior Account Manager to learn more, see a demonstration, or discuss the benefits of implementing the Bluecoat WAN Optimization Solutions within your environment.