When you check for WAN optimization, you need to take into consideration the following factors and understand whether your cloud backup vendor has factored them in and provisioned for them. These factors are:

  1. Network constraints associated with WAN delivery such as limitations in availability of bandwidth and network performance
  2. Competing bandwidth requirements
  3. Contending applications
  4. Required application response times
  5. Delivery issues associated with consolidation and centralization of data centers and virtualization of servers

Experts point out that delivering cloud services without WAN optimization is suicidal. So, most cloud service providers presume that WAN optimization is a requirement and deliver value to customers by factoring it in at several levels—hardware and software. Performance is made both evolutionary and revolutionary when WAN optimization is adopted as an integral and essential performance metric of the cloud.

WAN optimization for the cloud can really be slotted into three categories:–

  • Network memory optimization
  • Network acceleration, and
  • Network Loss

Memory optimization includes deduplication and compression technologies.

Acceleration focuses attention on latency and keeping the WAN traffic optimal. Acceleration also embraces application specific protocols such as chatty protocol.

Network loss is a process of preventing loss of packets and consequent need to retransmit lost packages through forward error correction. However, application based WAN optimization requires frequent update and issue of new versions of the cloud software.

A new focus area for WAN optimization is mobile access to the enterprise cloud. Any doubts whether businesses would want it has been settled by the increasing mobility of the enterprise and the need for mobile access to central data repositories.

It is evident, that WAN optimization will gain ground as network devices diversify and proliferate. Applications that were delivered over the corporate LAN or WAN will now have to be delivered over the Internet with little or no change in the speed of access or reduction in delivery performance. So, it is not surprising that vendors have suddenly woken up to the fact that they must optimize WAN traffic that travels from mobile devices such as laptops, Androids, iPhones and iPads if they must stay competitive in the cloud market.

The discussion above underscores the fact that WAN optimization is strategic to the cloud.  The process helps cloud service providers deliver:

  1. On demand services
  2. Minimal network configuration
  3. Mobility awareness
  4. Multi-tenant deployments, and
  5. Elastic scale out deployment

In fact, almost everything that makes the cloud attractive!