Wide Area Network (WAN) Redundancy

Globalization has fundamentally changed the way in which organizations conduct their business. Yesterday’s local organizations have morphed into global companies. It is not unusual to have sales and marketing in the US, R&D and BPO in India, and manufacturing in China. To manage the wide geographic diversity of operations, corporate IT infrastructure (Local Area Networks (LANs) and Wide Area Networks (WANs)) has grown increasingly sophisticated and vital. Vast amounts of data move across these networks and are mission critical for day–to-day business operations. The health of the WAN is critical for Business Continuity and its optimal performance is pivotal in driving down the costs in corporations while maximizing profitability.

Wide Area Networks have grown rapidly, spurred by the adoption of faster and cost efficient networks, and the emergence of compelling Web-based content and e-commerce applications. The broad acceptance of the Internet has led to the emergence of secure Intranets accessible only within a given company. Extranets are available to select outsiders, such as clients, customers, suppliers or vendors. In this new global communications and e-commerce environment, businesses of all sizes are increasingly reliant on Internet, Intranet and VPN connectivity. As a result, the reliability and redundancy, optimal performance and the stability of WANs are of utmost importance to businesses.

The ubiquitous usage of email and need for Internet access are a must for most businesses, big and small. These systems require robust and secure WAN infrastructures that are of a high availability nature. To attain this, companies need to create and execute WAN Redundancy planning as part of their overall business strategy. There are many ways of achieving WAN Redundancy, and the method chosen is a function of a company’s IT strategy. WAN Redundancy is essential if a business is to stay in a Business Continuity mode.

The Emergence of WANs

The importance of WAN Redundancy is brought to the fore everyday by corporate reliance on communication, human error and natural and man-made disasters. Events such as Ike, Katrina and the Tsunami in Asia also brought the need for WAN Redundancy to the forefront of business discussions, and IT organizations started organizing workshops and conferences around WAN Redundancy. WAN Redundancy is now affordable and desirable – across the spectrum of large to Small and Medium-size Businesses (SMBs). Over time WAN Redundancy has gained prominence in IT infrastructure planning and has taken its place among the top considerations when planning IT infrastructure and strategies in the business continuity perspective.

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