• United States
Contributing Writer

Your WAN: What’s your next move?

Aug 13, 20033 mins

* What you'll learn at Network World's WAN Technology Tour

On Sept. 9, Network World kicks off our Technology Tour “WANs: Answering the Demand for Optimized Services.” The focus of this year’s tour is quite different from that of previous years for one simple reason: WAN infrastructure is almost a commodity now.

It’s no longer a question of whether you’re going to have connections over the wide area or what kind of connections you’re going to have. That has pretty much settled itself out. Instead, the question becomes: What’s going to ride over those connections and how are you going to ensure the best possible service?

That’s when the subject gets a little trickier, but as our presenters will clearly show, it’s a task worth tackling.

In his keynote, Jim Metzler will look at how the WAN has changed – with IP taking on such a tremendous role. And if IP is to be the transport mechanism – with data riding over what is essentially a public network – how do you use it to send out mission-critical data?

Metzler will dig into the concept of next-generation WAN management and outline what you have to do to get your network ready for services such as voice and video that will be traveling across the wide area. Metzler will tackle the special considerations certain services require as well as how to build guarantees that help you deliver those services in a secure and efficient manner. He’ll also look to some emerging technologies such as identity-based services that will be making an appearance soon in your WAN.

He will be joined on-stage by seven of the leading companies in this market. Adtran, Cisco, Equant, Expand, Peribit, Virtela and Visual Networks will all present an educational view of technologies that will help secure and optimize the services you put over the WAN. Look for detailed descriptions of the myriad VPN architectures you can adopt – including build-it-yourself or buy; discussions on compression and caching; gaining visibility into your network for better performance; and end-to-end integration of services.

Look for frank roundtable chats on the challenges posed by the growing numbers of remote and mobile workers trying to access enterprise resources over the wide area. From security to service provider guarantees, you’ll learn how to construct a network that gracefully handles these types of users.

You’ll also hear advice on how to get out from under the crush of tight budgets – some unique strategies for doing more with less. Everyone knows that the corporate coffers have not been opened wide, but making your case could help you fund the projects you need to succeed.

It’s going to be a day jam-packed with tips and tools for you to improve your WAN and turn it from a mere commodity to a launch pad for superior services.

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