By Kevin Crayton – VP of Product Management

Enterprise video programs are emerging as a key tool for businesses because they allow for improved employee engagement and support many operational initiatives. However, they also present a major challenge because video can quickly use all of your WAN bandwidth if other solutions are not in place to help out.

Video is not becoming popular in a vacuum. Cloud computing, desktop virtualization and other emerging technologies are also on the rise, with all of them depending on the WAN. According to a recent Cabling Installation & Maintenance report, most WAN systems are not up to the task of delivering these content types without data packet loss, high levels of latency and other problems. This poses a major issue, as these rising technologies operate in such a way that they cannot function properly for end users if any of these network-related disruptions take place.

The WAN is somewhat limited on a purely technical level. However, many of the content delivery problems existing on the WAN stem from issues with the network distribution model. Most network service providers exist in between content vendors and businesses consuming those applications and solutions, the report said. They, therefore, have to meet the needs of both sides of the delivery equation without implementing systems that disrupt their revenue models. This creates a scenario in which most WAN setups feature minimal service level agreement provisions and only basic delivery optimization solutions.

As a result, companies can no longer resort to traditional methods for network monitoring because bandwidth use is much more complex, the news source explained. Instead, they need to deploy more innovative solutions to ensure their WAN system is able to keep up with their operational requirements.

One of the best ways to do this is to implement supporting technologies that are designed specifically for the type of data being delivered through the WAN. For example, an enterprise content delivery network designed to get video to end users can alleviate the burden on the WAN by circumventing it and bringing data packets directly into the LAN setup. This clears out more bandwidth for other WAN delivery requirements and ensures optimal delivery of the key video content. An ECDN offers a uniquely powerful option because it delivers content within the corporate firewall, cutting down on the data that needs to go through the WAN before getting to end users.

– Kevin