Verizon Business debuts WAN optimization service

* Managed service is aimed at speeding application delivery and reducing bottlenecks

Plenty of companies want to speed application delivery to far-flung users, but aren’t up for buying and installing WAN optimization gear at all their corporate outposts. For them, managed services provide a welcome alternative. The latest player to target that market is Verizon Business.

Last week, Verizon Business announced a new managed service that it says will help customers ensure enterprise applications such as e-mail, ERP and file transfers are delivered more quickly to end-users. The Verizon Managed WAN Optimization Service provides visibility into applications, improves their performance, and fine-tunes network controls to maintain performance, the company says.

At the heart of Verizon’s WAN optimization service is technology from Juniper Networks for improving application performance. Juniper’s WXC gear is deployed at customer premises as part of the service; Verizon Business manages the gear on behalf of the customer. The WXC platform includes tools for eliminating redundant transmissions; accelerating TCP and application-specific protocols; prioritizing and allocating access to bandwidth; and ensuring high application availability at sites with multiple WAN links.

For application monitoring purposes, the service uses Verizon Business' IMPACT network management platform. With monthly performance and trend analysis, enterprise customers can track how their applications are doing.

The managed WAN optimization service joins Verizon Business’ existing lineup of application and performance management services, which include managed network and security services.

Verizon Business isn’t the first carrier to offer managed WAN optimization services, but by using the Juniper WXC platform to deliver a “packaged experience” and cutting down on customization, it should be able to offer a product that is less expensive to deploy and maintain and better able to tie in with its other managed services, according to Brian Washburn, a research director at Current Analysis.

In a research brief, Washburn noted that Verizon Business’ Managed WAN Optimization Service provides not only application performance data, but also information about the health of the customer's enterprise network since the platform is integrated into Verizon’s existing network management and operations support systems. Still, Verizon Business is missing some important components for its Managed WAN Optimization Service, according to Washburn.

“First, though the service's coverage is global, the company is currently selling the service only to its accounts based in the U.S. Second, Verizon Business has not yet established basic SLA guarantees for its service, an important step in convincing customers that its new service will solve their applications headaches,” he wrote. Availability to non-U.S. customers and standard SLAs are both on the roadmap, Washburn added.

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