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Don’t let virtualization slow you down

“Chattiness,” inefficient protocols and latency may mean things that took seconds on the LAN take longer on the WAN. Why adding bandwidth isn’t the solution


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It’s rare nowadays to hear organizations that haven’t deployed virtualization within their corporate data centre or least have plans in place. Many IT organizations are embracing the benefits of virtualization and consolidation in an affect to reduce complexity, lower costs, improve resource utilization and data protection and simplify IT management.

But what implications does this have on us, the employees and our productivity?

There is one important caveat: application performance and end user experience.

In today’s world of multi-megabyte files, massive email attachments, rich productivity applications (such as Microsoft SharePoint, video and unified communications) and proliferation of Web-based applications, organizations are more than ever challenged with sharing applications and data across the wide-area-network to different locations. Virtualization and IT consolidation just compounds the problem even further.

For example, applications like Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint that work smoothly on the LAN tend to perform poorly when deployed over the WAN due to “chattiness”, inefficient protocols and latency. A task that was immediate on the LAN now might take several minutes, impacting our experience and productivity.

A study commissioned by Riverbed Technology indicated that 33% of users say accessing business files or software remotely negatively affects their productivity. And 40% say they would work off-site more often if their business files or software would load more quickly.

So what can IT do to embrace the benefits of virtualization without sacrificing performance?

Well, some may say add more bandwidth; however a common misconception is that bandwidth is the sole cause of poor application performance over the WAN, where really the root cause is from bandwidth congestion, chattiness at the transport layer and latency, and application protocol inefficiencies.

Looking into WAN optimization technology, however, can assist in enabling LAN-like performance to virtualized environments for users regardless of the location. Technology vendors such as Riverbed can accelerate the performance of TCP applications running over the WAN by addressing bandwidth constraints, TCP latency and application chattiness.

 As organizations look to further expand their virtualization strategy onto the desktop layer, WAN optimization becomes even more critical. Our desktops no longer supplying the computing power to run our apps, but act more as a “thin client”, while the network delivers the application experience to us. Ensuring the network is ready is a vital step in enabling IT to fully benefit from virtualizing  while continuing to provide the performance required to us end-users – a win/win for both.     

Find out more by reading Accelerate Private Clouds With An Optimized Network

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