Network Optimization Top Priority for CIOs Today

by CXOtoday Staff    Jul 14, 2009

Van M. Diamandakis, vice president, Corporate Marketing at Riverbed Technology in an interaction with CXOtoday s Muntazir Abbas speaks on challenges that CIOs face and technology trends as well as WAN optimization market in India.

What are the latest technology trends in the WAN optimization area?
WAN optimization market is growing like never before. The need for anytime, anywhere access has made WAN optimization the top priority for all CIOs today. According to the 2008 end of the year Goldman Sachs report, WAN optimization is among the top three trends that CIOs need to look out for; the other two being storage virtualization and application virtualization.

With the WAN optimization market in 2008 worth over $1 billion, enterprises are scrambling to deploy the technology. Some of the trends that this particular space has witnessed are:

Globalization People and their data are moving far from each other :

With the world and the business fraternity in particular experiencing globalization like never before, people and their data are moving far from each other. This has put CIO s in a quandary. They have to not only rope in measures to adapt their IT infrastructure in a way that supports distributed employees and guarantee anytime anywhere collaboration but also simultaneously ensure business continuity especially in times of change or disaster. Using WAN optimization solutions, CIOs now have a technology that can tie together their distributed enterprises. 

Unified communication Network is the business :

Today businesses are relying on their networks more than ever. With the network increasingly becoming the crux of the business, CIO s are faced with the mammoth task of making the networks ready for the future. Unified-communications technologies, including VoIP, video conferencing and Web 2.0 applications, have slowly but definitely become an integral part of business networks. But many companies are not in a position to deal with the strain that unified communications can place on a network. CIOs need to plan a successful strategy for a successfully unified-communications deployment. WAN optimization thereby becomes imperative in supporting unified communications in any enterprise

IT Consolidation The need of the hour :

There are many benefits associated with IT Consolidation, but it can be a very challenging process. It is key to consider all components of an IT consolidation project before embarking on it. Organizations that spend time and effort communicating the consolidation plan, testing and ensuring application performance, and implementing redundancy, will see tangible results.

How does WAN optimization help the end-users?
Web 2.0 is the buzz word that is doing the rounds today. There has been increased usage of social networking sites like Orkut, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. The rise of the video on the web is eating up bandwidth like never before. The user experience is taking a hit on account of low bandwidth. Social media marketing has also become a crucial part of the business plan. Technologies like WAN optimization helping in optimizing the bandwidth and save tangible dollars by wiping out the need to buy more bandwidth.

In the current economic scenario, how do you think WAN optimization will help organizations? Would it not burden the existing flat IT budgets?
In the economic scenario, WAN optimization has proven to be a technology that CIOs will deploy irrespective of flat IT budgets. According to a recent report released by AMI, Indian SMBs are to spend US$1.04B on networking in 2009, despite slowdown. WAN optimization will help SMBs grow rapidly even during this downturn as it helps improve the network performance without the need to purchase additional bandwidth. The report also says that the number of WAN-based businesses for Indian SMBs will show a significant growth of almost 20% in 2009.

 The current economic slowdown has made the CIOs re-think their IT investments. RoI is the sole factor that is justifying any IT deployment. Using WAN optimization, enterprises can improve application performance across the network typically by 5 to 50 times and in some cases up to 100 times, and can simultaneously reduce WAN bandwidth utilization by 65 to 95%. A technology like WAN optimization only helps in enhancing and not making any major alterations to the existing infrastructure.

What are the benefits of having a WAN accelerator?
A WAN accelerator has three key benefits.

        It accelerates your application

        Improves the speed and performance

        Reduces bandwidth

Over the last few years, WAN optimization technology has evolved manifold.  WAN acceleration products have become a true enabler of many data-centre projects and, in many situations, a technology that solves problems that would otherwise be overwhelming.

Slow network performance remains one of the major concerns of enterprises. How does WAN optimization help in addressing this issue?
The technology uses techniques such as compression, caching and de-duplication to optimize traffic, without actually making the networks run faster. Latency and bandwidth are two issues that dog the network making it slower. WAN optimization comes as a perfect solution to these issues

U.S. telecommunications giant AT&T has claimed that, without investment, the Internet’s current network architecture will reach the limits of its capacity by 2010. Bandwidth optimization is one of the many concerns that IT managers are facing today in most organizations. How will companies like Riverbed help in optimizing bandwidth?Bandwidth optimization is one of the many concerns that IT managers are facing today in most organizations. It has become a real challenge to squeeze and compress the data as much as possible without losing the content s integrity. Even the simplest bandwidth optimization techniques can reduce bandwidth costs significantly.

While most organizations ravage huge sums on increasing the bandwidth, the concept of optimizing the existing bandwidth is lost. Increasing bandwidth is just one way of taking care of the load on networks. It might be easier to optimize existing bandwidth. This is where Riverbed comes in. Many enterprises use WAN bandwidth optimization in order to cut costs and relieve network congestion. But typical WAN optimization products only reduce network traffic by ten or twenty percent. In contrast, a WAN optimization solution can reduce network utilization typically by 60 to 95%.