Does My Network Need More Bandwidth?
Mobile devices allow us to access the internet and the resources we need to do our jobs, study, entertain…well the list can go on and on.
There is an almost endless amount of different ways we use mobile today; each of these applications has a unique impact on the performance of our wireless systems.
These applications fall into four categories:
While these new devices and applications allow us to be more productive, efficient and happier, they also can put a large strain on our wireless systems, especially in busier (higher-density) environments.
When performance starts to drop and your end-users start complaining about terrible wifi, it can be difficult and frustrating to correctly diagnose the cause.
One of the most common knee-jerk reactions when trying to solve Wi-Fi performance issues is to blame your bandwidth or potential lack thereof.
Similar to access points, a lot of businesses think by simply upgrading their bandwidth all will be fixed. The problem is, even if you have the largest "pipe" available a bad WLAN design can make it seem like you don't.
While there are situations where a bigger pipe is required, it’s not always the case. So, what other options do you have if you think you have a bandwidth problem?
Let’s find out below.
What is WAN Optimization?
Wide-Area Network (WAN) optimization utilizes technologies and strategies that allow you to increase efficiency of data-transfer across your network.
As an important part of network management, it enables you to prioritize traffic and guarantee the necessary bandwidth for mission-critical applications.
A few things WAN optimization does:
- Traffic or bandwidth shaping prioritizes applications and allocates bandwidth appropriately
- Eliminates redundant (data duplication) by sending references instead of actual data
- Allows data compression, condensing data size to limit bandwidth usage
- Data repeatedly accessed is readily available through data caching
- Disallows application resource monopolization of bandwidth
- Streamlines data protocols
What are the benefits?
- Faster data accessibility – One of the simpler strategies, caching speeds up the time it takes to access frequently used web content and other data. By storing this type of data users don’t have to access it from the original source, increasing efficiency and reducing traffic on your network.
- Empowers the mobile workforce - WAN optimization empowers the mobile workforce by erasing the distance between your mobile workforce, branch offices and your business headquarters. It boosts network speeds between locations by enabling you to transfer data faster and more efficiently, amplifying network-based communications like Wireless VoIP, email and Skype for Business.
- Enhanced performance - Prioritizing mission critical applications allows you to create QoS (Quality of Service) and bandwidth guarantees to your most important applications. This type of optimization ensures your mission-critical applications come first, and things like Netflix and other recreational apps don’t impact your operational performance.
- Improved Data Recovery – WAN optimization streamlines the process of remotely backing up your data and with faster network response times helps you regain access to important applications after a crash. Both are a critical aspect in disaster recovery.
- Increased Efficiency - Protocol optimizations mitigate the effects of latency, by increasing bandwidth utilization and decreasing network congestion.
- Lower Costs - By allowing application consolidation, WAN optimization can dramatically lower the cost of new equipment and software your business needs. Using various optimization techniques such as bandwidth management, caching, compression, and protocol optimization, you can significantly reduce the need for more bandwidth.
Purchasing more bandwidth might seem like the best option when quickly trying to fix your wifi performance issues. However, after seeing the benefits of WAN optimization, hopefully you’ve realized there are other robust methods to improve performance.
Managing bandwidth with WAN optimization, provides your end-users with faster resources, and a better wireless network experience. Impacting their performance in a positive way, instead of a negative one, all without having to purchase more bandwidth.
A fast, secure and reliable wireless network, is like any other utility necessary to run your business, without it you can’t properly operate, and in many cases will bring everything to a stop.
WiFi as a Service allows you to budget over time exactly what network infrastructure is necessary to deliver the best class of service to your end-users.
Purchased through a subscription, you’re not having to spend a ton of capital up front to only have your wireless system become obsolete in 3-4 years.
This allows you to maximize your budget and distribute your resources on what your business needs the most to provide your end-users with a productive, safe and enjoyable experience.