Data Center Connectivity: How to Use WAN for Competitive Advantage

In today's digital market, organizations are trying to find ways to create more competitive advantages. Here's how WAN can help your organization's cloud, IT, and data center strategies.

Bill Kleyman

August 25, 2016

4 Min Read
(Photo by Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images)

A lot about data center connectivity, WAN, and how businesses utilize the cloud will change between now and 2020. Cisco's recent Visual Network Index report outlined some of the biggest changes that are coming your way:

  • Global IP traffic will increase nearly threefold over the next five years.

  • Smartphone traffic will exceed PC traffic by 2020.

  • Traffic from wireless and mobile devices will account for two-thirds of total IP traffic by 2020.

  • The number of devices connected to IP networks will be more than three times the global population by 2020.

  • Globally, virtual reality traffic will increase 61-fold between 2015 and 2020, potentially serving up hundreds of petabytes of traffic per month.

Square in the middle sits the business and the users they’re trying to support. This is why, over the next four years, organizations are going to use data center connectivity and WAN technologies to create real-world competitive advantages. With this in mind, let’s examine how companies can use WAN technologies to their benefit and where they can create even more optimization.

WAN Technologies Help Embrace Data Center Distribution 

The way we interconnect data centers and their respective services drives organizational strategies and delivery methodologies. This means that companies are finding ways to make their infrastructures more resilient, adaptable to change, and capable of supporting a highly mobile user.

By creating data center distribution you enable greater levels of business agility and reduce risk for the organization. WAN technologies are smarter, contextually aware, and capable of supporting very specific data center and business services. This means companies can plan around application delivery and even data optimization based on users, workloads, and even market demands.

Content is Getting Richer and Your WAN Must Support This 

Images, videos, files, and now virtual reality traffic are all impacting WAN systems and this type of information is actually delivered.

First of all, our ability to capture and distribute content will only continue to evolve. Furthermore, the type of content we’re delivering will grow in size, complexity, and value. This means your connectivity and WAN ecosystem must be able to support this.

It might mean optimizing very specific types of data streams, or supporting user sub-segments for precise business services. By being prepared for the evolving digital revolution and richer content, organizations can support quickly changing business strategies based on overall market trends.

WAN Must Be Used to Optimize Your Cloud 

The concept of cloud now revolves around very specific kinds of services that support the overall business. This could be SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, DRaaS, CDNs, and much more.

The point is organizations are now creating much more detailed cloud consumption models specifically based on their use case and business requirements. How is your data center connectivity supporting these delivery strategies? What about your WAN and Ethernet services; are they keeping up with user and resource demands?

WANOP is the process of optimizing WAN connectivity alongside distributed cloud and data center traffic. However, optimization in general is a critical consideration. When optimization is applied to applications, users, and digital content by context, you create a powerful architecture capable of supporting a highly distributed ecosystem.

Most of all, WAN management becomes easier as new WAN and cloud management systems help aggregate controls.

Data Center Connectivity Supports a Decentralized Business

The future business might have a “primary” data center, but their overall business might be extremely distributed. A new digital workforce does not conform to the traditional 9 to 5 mentality. In turn, businesses are tasked with supporting a new type of strategy that is capable of vast levels of distribution and content delivery.

A decentralized business is one which knows how to distribute critical resources and bring information most effectively to the users. Most of all, these organizations can create and alter their own services when shifts in the market demand it.

WAN technologies are creating software-defined connections across data centers and across cloud platforms. Organizations that can leverage these new types of WAN control mechanisms will be able to create new kinds of services as well as powerful go-to-market strategies.

Modern organizations will need to look to the cloud to help their business stay truly competitive. Cloud, WAN, and data center connectivity help define the digital revolution we’re all experiencing. These connectivity platforms distribute vast amounts of traffic to all points globally. And, as we evolve into the next digital frontier, platforms like virtual reality will impact traffic patterns and the type of content we deliver.

To create next-generation competitive advantages organizations will need to leverage vehicles of digital transport to help them through the journey. These vehicles will revolve around WAN optimization, cloud connectivity, and intelligent data center distribution architectures.

About the Author(s)

Bill Kleyman

Bill Kleyman has more than 15 years of experience in enterprise technology. He also enjoys writing, blogging, and educating colleagues about tech. His published and referenced work can be found on Data Center Knowledge, AFCOM, ITPro Today, InformationWeek, NetworkComputing, TechTarget, DarkReading, Forbes, CBS Interactive, Slashdot, and more.

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