WAN Optimization is a top technology under consideration by IT organizations according to research by The Info Pro in their Technology Heat Index report. Many Service Providers are creating WAN Optimization services to meet the requirements of customer who want WAN Optimization but prefer to outsource management. See Cisco Press Release. Organizations know that they can reduce IT expenditures as well as deliver new services more effectively by consolidating IT resources in the Data Center and by deploying WAN Optimization they can still give branch office users LAN like application performance. Whether organizations deploy WAN Optimization themselves or get it as a managed service they need to be able to justify the budget expenditure and that means being able to fully understand their requirements and being able to measure the performance improvements delivered of deployment of WAN Optimization.
An effective evaluation starts with an accurate baseline of network and application performance, followed by a determination of which applications are good candidates for acceleration. Once WAN Optimization is deployed application performance improvements need to be validated against the baseline. Available network paths should be utilized according to application needs and network resources should be aligned with application performance requirements. This process of gaining visibility into application performance and the practice of applying control and optimization are known as Application Performance Management. APM is a series of technologies that, when combined, enable managed services providers, and IT departments, to understand how their applications are performing, provision the network according to business and application requirements and optimize applications to help ensure consistent performance. Cisco and Fluke Networks together provide an industry-leading solution for APM to enable MSPs and IT departments to more intelligently manage performance of business-critical applications and enhance their investment in the network. The Cisco and Fluke Networks APM solution uses technology from Fluke to provide the visibility necessary for effective management of network, application and VoIP performance and it uses technology from Cisco’s IOS to provide information about network users and applications, classification and resource provisioning capabilities, as well as network-integrated path selection and it uses Cisco WAAS to overcome performance limitations on the WAN. To learn more about measuring Application Performance Management read this Whitepaper from Cisco and Fluke.