With more organizations depending on cloud computing, video and mobile device use, the WAN is often overloaded with content trying to get to end users from a variety of sources. This leaves businesses in a difficult position because it forces them to find a WAN-related solution to their network problems, creating potential cost and complexity burdens. According to a recent Network World report, a variety of solutions are emerging to solve these problems as part of the broad vision for next-generation WAN systems.

Evaluating the potential of next-generation WAN solutions

The report explained that WAN optimization, cloud networking solutions and WAN virtualization all offer organizations the potential to improve performance dramatically without creating excess costs. These types of solutions are vital to the ongoing operations of many organizations because adding bandwidth is not always an option.

According to the news source, there is never a such thing as having too much bandwidth or a too advanced WAN. The problem is that most organizations cannot afford to add MPLS infrastructure to their budget every time bandwidth problems show up. As a result, WAN optimization and similar solutions are key opportunities for businesses to get more out of the bandwidth that is available and avoid the expenses that come with a major investment.

Dealing with video

The problem with WAN optimization and similar broad network solutions is that they get the most out of the bandwidth that is available. When organizations implement an enterprise video program, data packets with video content can render WAN optimization useless because they require so much bandwidth. As a result, video-specific solutions are often the best options for companies because they deal with WAN-related issues in a way that addresses the unique problems created by the content format.

For example, a multicasting system that is built into an enterprise content delivery network manages to minimize the amount of bandwidth used by video while also getting the most out of the WAN. In such a setup, the multicasting solution delivers video to multiple users by compressing it into a single data packet that expands once it has reached the LAN. This eliminates much of the bandwidth burden from the WAN. At the same time, the ECDN improves the WAN’s core capabilities to accelerate delivery and ensure consistent performance.