Virtualization, cloud to shape 2010 WAN trends

Predictions about the WAN optimization landscape in 2010 center on virtualization, cloud computing and video traffic

Virtualization, cloud computing and video traffic play a prominent role in predictions about the WAN optimization landscape in 2010. Read on to see what a few more industry watchers have to say.

Frederic Hediard, vice president of product management at Streamcore, emphasized the influence video will have in the coming year:

“The high growth in real-time video traffic on corporate networks will continue to drive the need for solutions that provide visibility, traffic prioritization and bandwidth management. When enterprises make large investments in videoconferencing equipment, they cannot settle for poor performance from these systems,” Hediard says.

Among its 2010 predictions, Riverbed noted the demand for end users to be able to connect to corporate resources no matter where they are working: “As more cloud and virtualization projects come to fruition, users will be further away from their data. More vendors including Riverbed will step up to provide offerings for the cloud that address several key issues including service availability, data and vendor lock-in, security, data transfer bottlenecks and performance unpredictability.”

Riverbed also expects to see growth in enterprise edge boxes that consolidate branch services: “Consolidation and virtualization initiatives help increase flexibility and efficiency in delivering valuable services while reducing costs. The deployment of edge boxes will provide another opportunity for more consolidation as enterprises will look to not only consolidate servers but also print servers.”

Adam Davison, vice president of corporate sales and marketing at Expand Networks, also emphasized virtualization and the cloud in his look-ahead observations:“As we continue to move toward virtualized infrastructures, as-a-service offerings and cloud-based services, we will see more applications traversing the WAN than ever before. Many of these applications will be content-rich, real-time and bandwidth-intensive as the use of collaboration and Web 2.0 applications become more widely utilized across distributed enterprises and virtual workgroups. This will create increased demand for advanced WAN optimization solutions, however IT is already realizing that it is no longer just about providing acceleration, but about enabling enhanced levels of traffic visibility and control, and assuring the quality of the user experience across all these complex environments.”On the topic of cloud computing, Davison notes that the ability to provision a software solution for virtualized WAN optimization from the data center to the branch office and mobile users will be critical:

“Management, visibility and monitoring of the WAN and its traffic will be critical here. For example, QoS in and out of the cloud; mobile clients for remote cloud users; VDI/SBC support for desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) and for the support WAN optimization-as-a-service (WOaaS) will all be critical considerations,” Davison says. “Only a wholly virtual WAN optimization offering will enable the cloud infrastructure, both private and public, to be deployed and managed from any location.”

While the idea of WAN optimization-as-a-service has been thrown around as a trend for some time, Davison says Expand is confident that 2010 will see it come into its own. “Our recent survey of IT decision makers certainly supports this sentiment, with 76% saying they would consider adopting a WOaaS strategy if offered at a compelling price point, with 44% citing ongoing cost efficiency and reduction in OPEX as a key drivers for this.”In addition, Expand expects to see more service providers and telcos integrate WAN optimization products into their own offerings to add value and differentiate themselves from competitors. “With this integration, users may not even be aware they are reaping the benefits of WOaaS,” Davison says.

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Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.