Optimizing Your Network

The Best a Wan Can Get Strategies for Optimizing Your Network

Technologies are now appearing that treat network resources—bandwidth, storage and processors—as pools, allowing IT to allocate them more efficiently than ever before. It's not "grid computing": Rather than running a single application on a single server, the idea is to consolidate resources so they're used more efficiently.

Peter Christy, a principal analyst at NetsEdge Research Group, says commoditization down in the network means the move to standardization and simplification is going to continue. "I think people are seeing that arbitrary differentiation at the lower levels is irrelevant," he says.Effective network optimization strategies include:


  • Wan Links: Some companies are simply including optimizing technology with each new link they order, according to Aberdeen's Michael Hoch. Example: Tacit Networks' vice president of sales and marketing, Jeff Helthall, claims customers can get payback in as little as three months by installing his company's products to enable real-time global file-sharing over wide-area networks.


  • Servers: Aggregating processors can provide significant savings, says B.V. Jagadeesh, CEO of infrastructure optimizer Netscaler Inc. The Microsoft Network, which he says had 24 servers, budgeted for growth to 82—and instead trimmed to eight by using server-pooling technology.


  • Storage:"There's a massive oppor- tunity to reduce data storage costs," says Accenture's Tony Roby. Some companies are moving to network-attached storage and storage area networks, which decouple storage from specific servers.


  • IT Governance:Ensuring internal processes are efficient—and followed through—is the goal of software that helps IT departments stay in step with corporate goals while managing their own operations as effectively as possible.

  • Change Management: These applications track hardware and software changes to ensure that no errors are introduced, patches are up to date and corporate standards are followed.

  • This article was originally published on 09-01-2003
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