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WAN performance vital to cloud content delivery

By Donna Donnawitz
July 6, 2012
Cloud computing puts network operators in a difficult position. They have two customers - the content provider and the downstream client - and have to find a way to please both without putting so many resources into the network that they lose any revenue opportunities. According to a recent Cabling Installation & Maintenance report, these management challenges hit a wall when dealing with the WAN infrastructure, where poor performance can quickly derail any cloud operations.

For network service providers, most WAN systems use TCP/IP, a metro Ethernet solution or a similar technology, such as an IP virtual private network. On one hand, these technologies offer a solid foundation for building a network. On the other, they are increasingly overwhelmed by the demands created by cloud computing and other types of content delivery. The news source explained that the WAN is increasingly overwhelmed by content delivery requirements, causing many companies to invest in solutions that help make the most of the WAN.

Most network service provider service level agreements, however, are relatively weak. At the same time, a corporate WAN may use multiple technologies, with some delivering content to major offices in metro regions and branch offices in a remote location, the report said. Because of this, the technological and service implications of cloud computing and similar solutions are making the WAN critical for operations.

Cloud computing, virtual desktop systems, video and other emerging technologies all depend on high-performance packet distribution. The news source explained they cannot handle dropped data packets, latency or similar problems. All of these issues will derail the end-user experience. Despite the importance of resolving these issues, the WAN is generally unable to handle the core bandwidth and delivery requirements of these technologies without supporting the network with upgrades and specialized solutions that ensure smooth content delivery to a range of locations.

While the WAN is increasingly struggling to handle the cloud and other emerging technological platforms, there are alternatives. One such option is the MAN. The increasing availability of dark fiber infrastructure is allowing businesses with multiple offices in a metropolitan region to tap into the power of optical cabling to to connect its various facilities with service provider systems, providing a WAN-like distribution system. It offers more robust performance capabilities and enough bandwidth to avoid packet loss and problematic amounts of latency.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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