Managing Traffic

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I’d like to revive an old analogy for a minute to make a point about how companies can manage the growth of traffic on their networks – WAN, LAN, Wi-Fi and wireless. That analogy is the highway. I know, an old, old one, but bear with me.

There are three ways that highway planners can keep traffic flowing smoothly. They range from slow and costly to fast and cheap.



Build New Capacity

You can add capacity by building new roads, or expanding current ones. This is very expensive and takes a long time to build. By analogy, IT managers can add capacity by upgrading their WAN links and adding networking gear. This is also slow to deploy and expensive, requiring large capital budgets. And as with the highway, eventually new traffic will fill up the new capacity and the cycle will start all over again.

Traffic Shaping

The second approach that highway managers take is to “shape” the traffic on the existing roads. HOV lanes and toll lanes prioritize certain kinds of traffic. On-ramp metering lights smooth the flow of traffic to avoid bottlenecks. Mass transit “compresses” a dozen cars into one bus. Less expensive then building new roads, this approach still requires considerable amounts of time and money to implement.  Analogously, IT managers can deploy WAN Optimization Controllers (WOC) to provide traffic prioritization, shaping and compression. Deployment requires a fair amount of time and capital budget.

Leave The Car At Home

The best way to deal with highway congestion is at the root cause, and that’s what telecommuting (work at home) does – the car never leaves the home, never hits the roads, never contributes to congestion in the first place. There’s never been an analogous approach available to IT managers until Mobolize CacheFront. CacheFront keeps much more of the user’s browsing activity local on their desktop or laptop, so no additional  traffic is added to the network. CacheFront typically eliminates 60%-90% of web traffic, even in environments that already use WOCs, freeing up capacity for new IT initiatives like videoconferencing and VoIP.

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