Wide Area Network Optimization and Data
The value of Wide Area Network (WAN) Optimization is its ability to significantly accelerate data transmission across extensive distances between users, data-centers and the cloud. Measured as quantities of data and endpoint distances, optimization generates improved transfer efficiencies, in comparison to other methods.
- availability of bandwidth for important application
- higher throughput and lower latency
- prioritizing/scheduling data traffic
- blocking unwanted incoming/outgoing transmission.
Expanding beyond local area networks benefits K-12 system-functionality.
WAN Optimization and School Wireless Networks
Despite the relatively limited expanse between their network endpoints, K-12 systems can benefit from WAN application. Of course, appropriate implementation is necessary to achieve optimal efficiency. Doing so requires:
- accurate recognition of precisely what WAN can do for K-12 networks,
- what implementing a reliable system entails, with respect to process, methodologies and technologies amenable to use within K-12 systems.
Much has been said about WAN Optimization, so it’s necessary to distinguish fact from fiction.
Fact from Fiction: Myths About WAN Optimization
These two misconceptions can interfere with your implementation of an effective K-12 network:
Data Compression and Caching are Optimization's Sole Function – Fiction:
Although the first WAN optimization products focused almost entirely on these functions, they represent only a moderate measure of present capabilities.
Optimization's overall quality of service (QoS) has expanded significantly, incorporating a wide range of visibility and control functions.
These advanced capabilities ensure ongoing protection and performance through network outages, maintaining the operational consistency required for efficient K-12 network management.
Enhanced WAN optimization control (WOC) has improved compression capabilities, enlarging the overall quantity and quality of bandwidth available to users.
The advent of pre-populated caching has made files more readily available for access and use. Yet, these developments have been augmented by evolution of newer functions -- data/latency reduction, packet coalescing -- that have increased the expanse and power of the optimization processes.
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The Inability to Control Uncompressible Traffic Limits WAN Optimization's Uses for K-12 Systems - Fiction:
Simply not true. Current optimization processes improve user experiences across all network applications.
The improvements in QoS, and further development of such procedures as encrypted organizational or video/voice applications, have markedly increased WAN's versatility and value for the educational community.
This is especially true for such real-time functions as remote VoIP connections and video conferencing. Similarly, data/latency reduction-functionality eliminates redundancy of data storage and file transfer, particularly across generally used protocols such as Common Internet File System (CIFS).
In addition, knowing which WAN myths are true improves the use of optimization. Cloud applications are proliferating for educational uses but the commonly-held idea that WAN optimization has limited public cloud functionality is correct. Although it’s very possible that a virtual version could speed public cloud adoption for K-12 networks that has yet to happen.
Next-generation firewalls are better providers of protocol optimization and compression/caching, and are available at far lower cost. At present, only niche-applications for public cloud are feasible.
Optimization in K-12
Helps organizations allocate network resources for important applications by:
- expanding available bandwidth,
- increasing the rate of data transfer/access,
- prioritizing data traffic.
Educational consumers -- students, faculty, and administration -- benefit from enhanced user experiences.
Since communication and transmission of data improves schools' administrative-functions and teachers' instructional-capacities, this is true whether or not access to the WAN system is available to all.
Students lacking access to most school-WAN processes still benefit from better teaching, as evidenced by improved subject-retention and test-scores.
Having a clear picture of WAN's capabilities allow K-12 wireless networks to design systems that provide the needed services without undue complication or redundancy.