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Why Mulkey Engineers Switched from Riverbed to Cisco WAAS

Have you ever been behind the wheel of your car moving at 5 mph? Visualize this: as I wait patiently for my turn to merge onto Interstate 880 N, based on the honor system because there is no meter, a brightly colored Fiat rolls by on the left shoulder. A few seconds later, a Smart Car inches up and squeezes itself between my car and the narrow right shoulder passing me as well. The Smart Car has a bumper sticker that says “Please don’t hit me. I’m not sure about my coverage.” Hmm…

Now that you’re probably done giggling at my experience, let’s analyze the scenario above. Designing a network of highways takes a lot. A smart highway system not only reduces congestion and prevents collision, but also provides expedient information, such as signage and speed sensors, to improve driver response times. Civil engineers consider more than just current traffic and road conditions when they design highway systems. They also consider how to scale for the future, taking into account urbanization, seasonal factors, and future uncertainties such as mini cars. Sound familiar?

Many of the design and management considerations for an Internet wide area network—such as bandwidth management, application response time, and centralized control—are similar to highway system design.

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