When buying a WAN optimization product, an IT Pro will have to do a little research and make some decisions on what exactly the device is expected to do. First and foremost, is to decide between a physical and a virtual appliance – each has its own pros and cons, but those vary based upon the environment that the appliance will be installed in. Other questions to ask, include:
-- What type of optimization will be used (i.e. compression, caching, QoS, etc.)?
-- What is the maximum throughput of the device?
-- What type of support and warranty is offered?
-- Do you need failover, load balancing or other persistence features?
-- Do you need to support site to site VPN connections?
-- How scalable is the device?
-- Will the appliance be used for primarily site to site or site to client?
-- Can the appliance be upgraded to handle additional features – such as application optimization, security services, VPN, SSL and so on?
It is those questions that will help to determine what WAN optimization may mean for your enterprise and should also help you to cull the field to select an appliance that is appropriate for your environment. Choosing a WAN optimization appliance can be compared to the story of Goldilocks, where you want to make sure that you pick the solution that is “just right”.
(VIDEO: Application Tune Ups Network Performance)