WAN optimization key for enterprise video efforts

Video is creating major problems in enterprise networks and WAN optimization could be the solution.

By Donna Donnowitz
October 20, 2011
Video is emerging as a key avenue for communication within enterprise environments. A recent Sys-Con Media report explained the economy's globalization has combined with the increased use of video for everything from training to marketing to collaboration, creating major networking challenges for businesses. These difficulties come regardless of whether the video content is streamed or downloaded, as either function pushes enough data through the network to create major bottlenecks.

The bottleneck issue is especially key with video content, the report said, because users will not tolerate inordinate amounts of buffering or jitter while playing video content. As a result, it is key to upgrade the network so it can handle the amount of data needed to allow video streams and downloads without major performance issues.

Another problem created by video has to do with how it is distributed over the network. As more companies open branch offices and diversify the network to deliver content to a diverse range of sources, it is more difficult to control how a video impacts the network based on where it originates. As a result, the already limited amounts of bandwidth being used to handle video are also dispersed over other enterprise applications. This means that the bottlenecks and other delivery issues pertaining to video also impact other services, according to the news source.

While adding more bandwidth may help with some video-related issues, the process is expensive and may not get the job done. Instead, the report said more businesses are turning to WAN optimization, which uses advanced routing practices and other processes to reduce video's impact on the network. The news source said WAN optimization, combined with video-specific networking tools, significantly reduce the amount of bandwidth used by video content by as much as 98 percent.

WAN optimization is also becoming a popular solution when it comes to delivering cloud services. As servers are virtualized and data center networks are overwhelmed by the amount of data transmitted between servers and end users, operators need to find a way to improve the network delivering cloud-based applications. Many experts agree WAN optimization is an ideal technology to meet this need because it helps the network make the most of the bandwidth that is available, rather than deal with the expense of adding new bandwidth.

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