The Return of the Strategic Network and How to Assure it in 2013

Do you consider your WAN strategic? With the continual pressures on IT budgets, you often hear the WAN has become a commodity. However, in today’s age of the knowledge worker, it is more important than ever to provide your user community with easy and simple access to the relevant information and data from wherever they choose to access it. This is becoming an increasingly difficult challenge for IT professionals to manage, as users demand more flexibility in how they choose to access and manipulate this information. BYOD complexity and fears about the security of SaaS applications abound. Nevertheless, IT management is beginning to accept that they need to deliver information to whatever screen is in use, quickly, and error free regardless of the increased complexity present in a modern WAN. Therefore, the real challenge for 2013 is how best to provide a predictable user experience in such an environment. In short, how can you assure your network amidst all of this diversity?

As with many things, the solution rests in your tools. Today’s IT team requires a versatile suite of network management tools that can provide the visibility, control and acceleration technologies required to intelligently maximize your network resources to a user-centric Service Level Agreement (SLA) that is directly tied to your business objectives. The use of a, single integrated management suite will also allow IT staff to cut network cost in several ways. With enhanced visibility into application performance at a user level, network related trouble tickets can be cleared much more quickly. This results in immediate budgetary savings due to reduced help desk and service desk costs. If an assurance suite can also provide data acceleration, de-duplication and protocol optimizations, escalating bandwidth costs can be brought down or, at a minimum, maintained at current levels. These savings can be further augmented if user-based policy and control is also present in the suite. The control function prevents inefficient use of WAN and Internet resources by limiting use according to pre-defined policies tied back to organizational imperatives and individual users.

At an application level, today’s business environment relies more than ever before on a strategic set of productivity applications, often served up from the cloud, to enhance collaboration and employee performance. 2013 will be the year where we see solid adoption of applications, such as Microsoft Lync and VDI, that rely heavily on the WAN to bring strategic value to your users. Further, the increased reliance on web conferencing and streaming video for ad hoc training of, and communication between, central and remote site employees will drive traffic that increasingly relies on simple, secure web based communications. Sub layer 7 visibility is the only weapon available to ensure that these web based services can be effectively optimized at the network edges thus delivering savings across the organization at the same time as assuring an acceptable user experience.

By utilizing a network assurance suite, your corporate internet services and WAN can operate better. Your user community will feel that the network is quicker, applications are more predictable, and they will inevitably reduce the number of network based help desk calls and trouble tickets. The end result is an environment that is easier for IT to install, support and maintain and one where the user community is more productive.

To learn more about how Exinda’s Network Assurance Suite can help you save money get the white paper – Best Practices for Reducing WAN Costs by up to 40%

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