The adoption of cloud-based computing promises to improve the agility, efficiency, and cost effectiveness of IT operations required to provision, scale, and deliver applications to the enterprise. As with other technology trends, delivering applications from the cloud, to remote sites, creates challenges with application performance, availability, and security.
Enterprise IT departments are continuing to invest in technologies that generate cost savings while making their business applications more agile and available. These initiatives, such as consolidation of branch-office servers and virtualization of data center servers, are increasingly being adopted by the enterprise; however, they have not been without consequences. For example, branch-office server consolidation projects, while reducing the server footprint, can result in a poor end-user experience and increased bandwidth utilization because applications traverse a WAN link with higher latency and packet loss and lower bandwidth than they traverse a LAN link. WAN optimization solutions, such as Cisco® Wide Area Application Services (WAAS), are implemented to deliver LAN-like application response times for end users and to defer a WAN bandwidth upgrade.
Now cloud-based architectures promise agility, efficiency, and cost effectiveness for application delivery as well as reduced operational and management costs, but as with other IT initiatives, potential challenges exist with the adoption of this trend. Again, organizations are looking to WAN optimization for an answer, and organizations are finding that Cisco WAAS also provides acceleration and optimization of applications delivered from the cloud, such as collaboration and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, increasing performance, improving disaster recovery, and securing application traffic. By deploying Cisco WAAS, organizations can achieve cost savings promised by the cloud architectures, while overcoming IT challenges and meeting data-compliance goals.
Adoption of cloud architectures requires enterprise IT departments to move resources such as applications, compute, and storage to the public or private cloud. As enterprises make these changes, compute resources may be migrated first to a private cloud hosted in corporate or outsourced data centers. Other organizations may use public clouds directly. In either architecture, application delivery to remote users in branch offices requires more WAN hops than with prior designs. A recent report from IDC states that 60 percent of SaaS applications are accessed from the SaaS hosting center and then backhauled through the corporate data center branch offices. Thus, traditional problems of WAN latency, packet loss, and bandwidth limitations for centralized application delivery continue to exist and may even be magnified.
See this whitepaper for a look at how you can overcome the challenges with performance, availability, and security of cloud-based applications by deploying WAN optimization.