In the human body, the network of blood vessels is 60,000-mile long or 97,000-kilometer, centralized and regulated by a sine qua non organ – the heart. That network reaches 100+ trillion cells and is responsible for delivering blood that carries oxygen and nutrients to nourish the body (Source: National Geographic). When that effortless flow is congested (either genetically or through our own doing as a result of diet and exercise) our ability to perform essential functions becomes less than ideal. In an extreme case, such as the stoppage of blood flow to the brain, it can cripple one’s bodily function permanently.
If the data center is the heart of an organization, then the wide area network (WAN) is its network of blood vessels that carries vital data to multiple systems. For American Water (NYSE: AWK), a publicly traded water utility in the United States, this network services 300+ locations: primary and backup data centers, 275 branch offices, various production facilities, treatment plants, two call centers with between 500 and 600 workers each, and other facilities. A number of remote sites have a few hundred users, while most average 50 users. The network also provides access to applications such as Lotus Notes, MS Office, ERP and CRM, and numerous other applications for data replication, critical operations risk management, access control, and surveillance. Read More »