Survey finds users are becoming proactive with WAN mgmt.

* The benefits of proactive WAN management

We recently surveyed 234 IT professionals on their company's use of network management in general, and their use of WAN and application optimization products in particular. In order to gather detailed insight, interviews were conducted with several IT professionals. The next three newsletters will discuss the results of this market research and demonstrate that a shift is underway in terms of how WAN and application optimization products are selected and deployed.

The survey results showed that in spite of all of the hype around organizations becoming more proactive with network management, organizations are roughly as likely to have a reactive approach to overall network management as to have a proactive approach. However, the survey respondents expressed a strong belief that their organizations were becoming more proactive with WAN management. In particular, they expressed the belief that their companies were beginning to implement the tools and processes that would allow them to identify and hopefully eliminate problems before they impacted the performance of the WAN.

One of the interviewees stated he thought that as devices became more intelligent, it would be easier for his company to implement more proactive WAN management.               

Another interviewee pointed out that one of the key initiatives of his company's new CIO is to reduce the number of data centers that the company is going to support on a worldwide basis. The interviewee believes that in order for the company to successfully reduce the number of data centers, they will have to become more proactive at WAN management. A third interviewee stated that her company's approach to WAN equipment selection is changing from an emphasis on deploying a hot box to an emphasis on manageability. She stated that on a going-forward basis her company "will not deploy a piece of WAN equipment if we can not manage it."

The next two newsletters will focus on what the survey respondents and interviewees had to say about WAN and application optimization. In particular, we'll detail what optimization techniques are hot and which ones are not, as well as whether or not these techniques are being deployed in a proactive fashion. We'll also discuss the difficulty associated with implementing and managing WAN and application optimization products.

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