Technological advances have evolved at an exponential rate over recent decades—we’ve seen the advent of the Internet, cloud computing, virtualization, and several other technologies. But the wide area network (WAN) technologies that are currently in use in most branch offices have changed little since the 1990s.
Business environments today are experiencing unprecedented growth and change, and IT departments are losing visibility and control. Traditional WAN technologies are a mismatch for modern branch networks that need to be up and running quickly. The demand for adaptability, awareness of costs, and the need to run and monitor business-critical processes are indicating the necessity for a new WAN technology paradigm.
New WAN services based on the latest technologies have not been deployed by traditional service providers, primarily because they require an initial financial outlay which companies are not prepared to make. But they are poised to succeed multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), and are the most viable alternative for supporting application performance while dealing with increased network traffic and the connectivity demands of cloud computing and mobile access.
In this white paper, the characteristics of WAN technology and the limitations of traditional WAN technology, including complexity, are explored. This paper also discusses some new approaches, such as a hybrid WAN, which are better suited to supporting fast-changing business and technology environments.