Chapter 1: Introduction to WAN Architectures

Excerpt from Building Service-Aware Networks: The Next-Generation WAN/MAN.

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Excerpt from Building Service-Aware Networks: The Next-Generation WAN/MAN.

By Muhammad Afaq Khan

Published by Cisco Press

ISBN-10: 1-58705-788-3

ISBN-13: 978-1-58705-788-5

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The WAN is a place in the network that aggregates various types, speeds, and links running a disparate set of protocols together crossing metropolitan, state, and even country boundaries. The largest example of a WAN is the Internet itself, which can be regarded as the public WAN. The primary purpose of a WAN is to connect users and applications connected to various LANs.

As evident from its definition, the WAN is the central point for all data aggregation coming from various places within an enterprise network. Because of this, it is important to understand not only how a WAN is constructed, but also the underlying business drivers that have been and continue to bring changes to this place in the network.

In this book, you study the variety of WANs as they exist today, business models, and the associated emerging trends and how they are giving birth to “next-generation” WAN. Once you have the first four chapters (or Part I) behind you, it should become evident that the core requirement to building such networks hinges on the usage of modern routing/switching infrastructure that is highly available, scalable, flexible, and above all, service rich.

This chapter describes the various types of WAN architectures and their various associated aspects.

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