Optimizing Wide Area Networks (WAN) Using Redundant Connectivity
The world is entangled in an intricate web of technological progressions. Networks are increasingly being used for effective and speedy data sharing, commerce, and daily life applications. Wide Area Network (WAN) and Local Area Network (LAN) are the popular types of networks that enable information transaction and communications. LAN WAN is most significant in the network infrastructure. While WAN is a geographically dispersed telecommunication network, LANs are spread over a small area such as a home, office, or group. A WAN connection is achieved through communication carrier devices including fiber lines, wireless, telephone lines, microwave links, and satellite channels. The Internet is the most popular and largest WAN. A WAN connection enables extensive scalability, which optimizes application performance. The most common LAN technologies include Ethernet over unshielded twisted pair cabling and Wi-Fi.
Local Area Networks contrast with WANs owing to their high level of data transfer rates, and the area it spans. LANs and other type of networks are connected together by WANs to facilitate users and computers from different locations to communicate with each other. LAN WAN, together, is a combined powerful tool to yield connectivity options at the local and global areas, respectively. But the most widespread usage is that of Wide Area Networks, which functions as the core of information sharing among users worldwide. For business purposes some organizations have secure, private WAN access. The WAN connection established by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) link the LANs of organizations to the Internet.
Speed and Connectivity
Wide Area Networks or the Internet provides extended applications in a real time scenario. When considering overall WAN performance, one of the key determinants is WAN speed since time is crucial in business operations. Many large enterprises invariably have multiple WAN connections for redundancy and continuous uptime. WAN connectivity can be established through options such as Leased Line, Circuit Switching, Packet Switching, and Frame Relay. Leased lines, although expensive, are most often used for building WAN networks. While TCP/IP network protocols are utilized for rendering functions such as transport and addressing, ISPs use protocols such as Packet over SONET/SDH, MPLS, ATM and Frame relay to convey the links that WANs use.
The three basic components of a WAN connection are access routers, the WAN access links, and security strategies. Routers are used to enable direct communication between LANs communicating through a WAN. WAN speed is dependent on its capacity and features. Analog and ISDN links, though cost effective, are slow and cumbersome, while Broadband DSL and cable modem links are relatively very fast.. Businesses rely on robust WAN performance to ensue smooth business operations, and large companies use T1, T3, Wireless, Broadband DSL or cable modem links to achieve WAN speed and redundancy. Analog and ISDN links are used by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), home groups, etc. for WAN connectivity. It is a low cost solution, but is disadvantageous due to the fact that the link is only temporary and often requires dial-up to re-establish the link. In a typical WAN speed, the transmission rate would be in the range of 1200 bits/second to 6 Mbit/s. However, connections like ATM and Leased lines provide speeds greater than 156 Mbit/s and some fiber connections exceed 1 gigabit/second
Numerous devices are used for WAN access particular to the type of WAN environment. WAN switches, access servers, modems, CSU/DSUs, ISDN terminal adapters, routers, ATM switches, and multiplexers are some of the components. WAN communication is established effectively across the network through reliable WAN access. Oftentimes, multiple WAN connections are used to enable maximum bandwidth utilization and redundancy in WAN connectivity. A single WAN connection is inadequate to support large amounts of data transfer in a short time span, due to probable network congestion. Besides, network outages due to Broadband, technical snag or system failure is possible. Multiple WAN connections are therefore an imperative to efficiently handle network traffic. Load balancing and failover capabilities further enhance WAN performance.
WAN Security and Accessibility
The use of the Internet is bound to accelerate in the near future. With businesses relying on the Internet to conduct their businesses and run mission-critical applications, WAN security becomes a vital point of consideration. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) uses the shared public telecommunication infrastructure to interconnect nodes and establish WAN access at a secure level between the Internet and an organization’s internal network. Many companies are migrating towards employing this very secure form of connectivity.
A VPN maintains privacy through security procedures and tunneling protocols. Data is encrypted at the sending end and decrypted at the receiving end. WAN Security is sustained at all levels to the extent of encrypting the originating and receiving network addresses. Furthermore, the IPSec feature has the capability to effect data encryption across WAN VPNs.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
Business continuity and Disaster Recovery have emerged as major concepts in the business arena. Several disruptive situations in the last few years such as tsunamis, earthquakes, terrorism etc have raised the importance of business continuity planning. Added to this mix are disruptions to the WAN due to connection and network failures. Businesses are often faced with challenges ranging from CSU/DSU failure, network outages to catastrophic natural disasters that disrupt business operations. WAN performance is therefore crucial for businesses across the globe. Business continuity is reliant on secure and always available connectivity that enables high data throughput and optimized WAN performance.
WAN disaster recovery is the process of restoring crucial business processes that were interrupted due to natural disasters or those disasters caused by humans. As an essential part of Business Continuity Planning (BCP), disaster recovery management is of the essence.
In the technology marketplace, FatPipe Networks occupies a prominent place with its comprehensive suite of WAN optimization solutions. FatPipe’s technology devices offer the highest level of WAN reliability and WAN performance. Its wide array of technology offerings include products designed to provide WAN redundancy, speed, dynamic load balancing, Quality of Service (QoS), data compression, enhanced VPN security, and VPN encryption. FatPipe technology takes disparate WAN connections and dynamically load balances across the lines and fails over traffic to available lines should one of the connections fail.
FatPipe’s patented MPVPN technology provides reliability and redundancy in WAN access and WAN security in data transmissions. A robust WAN is the backbone of business continuity. FatPipe’s patented WARP provides high levels of redundancy and availability for WAN networks and enables maximum bandwidth utilization. The performance of the WAN is improved considerably and virtually eliminates disruptions in business operations.