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Branch office users are crying out for better performance of business-critical applications over the WAN. The impact of latency and congestion as well as limited bandwidth is affecting their productivity. Research shows that business performance starts to decline when applications exceed a 5 second delay in response times. This makes a job of IT departments challenging as they look to support business services and mitigate revenue loss while saving on bandwidth costs and getting the most out of their current enterprise resources as they work with limited budgets. The inability to prevent performance issues before end-users are impacted is the top challenge for managing application performance over the WAN. How to deal with the increase in voice and video traffic is another, as well as the lack of visibility into the end-user experience. Organizations are also challenged by increasing transfers of large files between network locations and an increase in complexity of applications.

WAN Optimization can solve these problems. However, IT organizations need to look at the overall picture when deploying WAN Optimization. They must consider: * What application-delivery features they should deploy * How they can develop capabilities for evaluating test results prior to the final purchase decision * How they should manage application performance, monitoring, and QoS. * The impact of adding bandwidth will be on application performance and WAN costs Fortunately there can be a lot of insight to gain from others who have already been there. Aberdeen Research surveyed more than 300 organizations between April and May 2009 to examine best practices for managing application performance over the WAN. To make a more meaningful comparison Aberdeen placed organizations into three categories using: * Average improvements in network throughput * Average improvements in application response times * Average application availability results as benchmarks Aberdeen found that Best-in-Class organizations reported * 38% average improvement in network throughput * 87% average improvement in application response times * 99.2% average application availability. Aberdeen also learned that 47% of all organizations that increased their bandwidth capacity over the last two years did not experience any improvement in application performance, although Best-in-Class organizations were able to improve application response times by more than 11-times: Best-in-Class organizations are two-times more likely than Laggards to be deploying tools for application acceleration. For the full report see here: Aberdeen Report

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