As we wrap up our New Data Center Technology Tour this week, we're busy preparing for our WANs tour that will take us to Newton, Mass., and Arlington, Va., on Dec. 9 and 11, respectively. Called "WANs: Answering the Demand for Optimized Services," the event will focus on how IT managers can show value to their organizations as businesses are under pressure to compete within ever-tightening budgets.Jim Metzler, president of Ashton Metzler and Associates, will provide expert insights into cost-saving technologies that you can use today, such as bandwidth management and bandwidth optimization techniques. Attendees will also learn about voice over IP and VPN strategies and practicalities, and hear how new technologies such as identity management can add value to the organization.Metzler will be joined at the event by presenters from vendors including Cisco, Expand Networks, Packeteer, Peribit, and Visual Networks.Among the topics that will be discussed:* Disciplined bandwidth management, caching and compression techniques.* Optimized services that run over your established infrastructure.* Access you can control, partition and protect.* Metered monitoring you can evaluate in real time.* Standards for VPN and voice over IP.If you can't make it to the tour, or if you want to continue with your education of these areas described, please check out our online Research Centers. Senior Editor Denise Pappalardo edits the WAN Services research center, where she discusses service provider issues. A host of other research center topics that provide news, analysis and opinion about VPN and voice over IP, among other issues, can be found here: https:\/\/www.nwfusion.com\/topics\/index.html .To register for the WANs Technology Tour, go here: https:\/\/www.nwfusion.com\/events\/wan\/ .The WANs Services Research Center is here: https:\/\/www.nwfusion.com\/topics\/wan.html .