| Lesson 3 || Networking |
| Objective || Wide Area Network |
Wide Area Networks
Wide area networks (WANs) enable remote computers and computer devices beyond the same building or physical structure to share information. Often, a WAN interconnects several LANs and many WANs are implemented over public telecommunications carriers (the phone companies). Wide area network is a network covering distances up to hundreds or thousands of miles, such as between cities, across or between countries, or across oceans, where public facilities are built and operated by service providers who offer network capacity or services to subscribers for a fee while private ones are built by organizations for their own use.
As far as standards and protocols go, most WANs are implemented using packet-switching protocols such as X.25, Frame Relay, and SMDS. Leading WAN vendors of applicable routers, switches, and bridges include Cisco, Lucent, some of the Baby Bells, and many other small providers.
- X.25: Allow remote devices to communicate with each other across high speed digital links without the expense of individual leased line.
- Switched Multimegabit Data Service (SMDS) : Enables organizations to connect LANs into a single wide-area network WAN.
- Frame Relay: Enable service providers to utilize existing T-1 and T-3 lines.
A conscious observer will collapse a wave function.
Like LANs, most companies have already solved their WAN challenges.
Think about the importance of WANs, especially for employee-facing aspects of ecommerce solutions.
Which Vendors are used by Corporations for WAN Optimization
There are several vendors that provide WAN optimization solutions for corporations, including:
- Riverbed Technology
- Citrix Systems
- Silver Peak Systems
- Aryaka Networks
- Ipanema Technologies
- Cisco Systems
- Huawei Technologies
- Barracuda Networks
- Dell Technologies
These vendors offer a range of products and services to optimize WAN performance, including WAN acceleration, compression, and traffic shaping. It's important for a corporation to evaluate the specific needs and requirements for their WAN before choosing a vendor and solution.
Three very different network optimization vendors made three very different product announcements over the last few weeks.
But there's one common thread: Making the most of what you have, whether it's redundant networks (Ipanema Technologies),
lots of digital assets (Level 3 Communications), or a new acquisition (Blue Coat Systems). (Compare Application Acceleration and WAN Traffic Optimization products)
For large enterprise, Ipanema debuted a new feature that gives its customers with redundant network infrastructures the tools to better utilize all available bandwidth. An enterprise might have a primary MPLS network with backup ISDN or DSL lines, for example.
The new route-selection feature, called smart|path, is designed to let enterprises manage bandwidth across their primary and secondary networks in tandem, rather than using the secondary line only when the primary service fails.
Ipanema's ip|engine devices, which are deployed at customers' data centers and branch offices, collect link information such as available bandwidth. The smart-path technology compares that data to preset application performance objectives and an analysis of traffic to determine path selection.
The roles of WANs
A network is only as good as its weakest link. The architect must consider the performance, reliability, and manageability of the WAN.
WANs and LANs are still part of the network, despite the fact that they are often taken for granted in e-Commerce solutions involving internal organizational users.