Business in the global marketplace of the 21st century is a very different situation from that of just a few decades ago. With many companies spanning vast geographic distances, often across many countries, as well as an ever-increasing number of business-critical functions depending on reliable broadband internet connectivity, WAN optimization is more critical to the function of the modern business than ever before. Prior to the widespread use of broadband Internet in business, WAN optimization required extensive hardware upgrades and frequent audits of physical links. This meant that it was often an expensive and complex pursuit.
Today, however, with the trend towards software and infrastructure being provided as a network service (SaaS and IaaS respectively), the entire discipline of WAN Optimization is changing. In this blog, we’ll look at how to more effectively monitor, manage and optimize your WAN with your Network Management Software.
Understand how traffic moves through your WAN
Network Management Software today is capable of providing unprecedented insight into the way data moves around your network. For environments of any size, consistent monitoring and reporting is essential in keeping ahead of network issues or bottlenecks that could cripple your network’s performance and bring business to a grinding halt. For WAN environments, a powerful Network Management System is even more essential as it can provide visibility into your entire WAN and alert you to problems at any point across your entire network, no matter how large the scale.
The traffic that moves through your WAN ports is a good indication of the how well your resources are being utilized, and how much room there is for improvement. Keeping an eye on bandwidth and setting comprehensive baselines is useful here – most Network Management Systems offer alerting capabilities that let you know when you hit a certain threshold above or below your normal level.
A powerful Network Management System allows you to make informed decisions
The amount of traffic moving through your network environment – and specifically your WAN ports – will indicate how close you are to reaching capacity, and whether or not you should consider any upgrade projects in the near to medium term future. However, upgrading a physical WAN circuit is often complex and expensive. If, for whatever reason, an upgrade isn’t on the cards, you need to look at optimizing your existing resources. This is where robust Network Management Software comes into play: with IRIS Core NMS, for example, it’s possible to drill down into the types of traffic traversing your WAN links and identify the nodes that are using the most resources, and at which times. Once you’ve got the answers you need, you can decide how best to approach a solution. For example, it might be beneficial to implement Quality of Service (QoS) policies that prioritize certain types of traffic in order to keep business-critical processes running even when the WAN circuit is being utilized fully.
Think carefully about the Network Management Software provider you choose
Ultimately, for enterprises that rely on WAN connectivity to keep business-critical processes running optimally, powerful and responsive Network Management Software is non-negotiable. Not only does it provide you with granular insight into the function of your network environment at any scale, it allows you to leverage the existing value of your IT assets before considering a potentially costly and complex upgrade to your WAN circuit.
IRIS is a provider of enterprise and carrier-grade Network Management Software with more than a decade of experience in the Southern African ISP and telecoms markets. Our Network Management Software is comprehensive and uniquely scalable to environments of any size, without adding unnecessary overhead to your networking resources. To find out more about WAN Optimization with our Network Management Software, download our free guide to the effective management of a large-scale WAN.