Data center consolidation, WAN optimization go hand-in-hand

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Data center consolidation, WAN optimization go hand-in-hand

Government information technology leaders face a real challenge in finding ways to boost network performance and security while also cutting costs.

One way to achieve that goal is to implement data center consolidation along with wide area network (WAN) optimization. Before undergoing a massive project like data center consolidation, however, it’s important to avoid potential implementation issues that may impact remote and local users. That’s where WAN technology upgrades come in — they allow you to accelerate high-priority network traffic, ensuring a smooth transition during consolidation and offering a high return on investment.

WAN solutions to help you get there

Two leading technologies, Riverbed’s Steelhead appliance and Cascade solution, can help agencies achieve optimized performance. Such optimization products should be considered core components of data center consolidation. Steelhead appliances, or all-in-one branch office boxes, work to lower network congestion by removing duplicate data, improving data transfer and streamlining client-server interactions required for applications. There are now more than 20 Steelhead appliance models with a wide range of capacities, all of which use Riverbed Optimization System software. Models that support Riverbed Services Platform can run up to five virtual machines on VMware Server right on the appliance.

This all means Riverbed helps you slash bandwidth utilization by 50 to 90 percent, and dramatically reduce latency on the WAN at the same time.

Cascade, which I’ll talk more about in a separate blog post soon, provides real-time, granular data and metrics about impacts of IT changes. Generally, it sends alerts to administrators when network performance issues pop up and need to be fixed quickly. Cascade can also be a critical part of the initial consolidation by creating a dependency map and establishing a benchmark for performance before beginning.   During consolidation, the dependency map can ensure successful migration and after the consolidation, Cascade products can provide a new performance report to compare to the original benchmark.

Data center consolidation can improve overall network operations and lower costs for organizations. However, if government agencies don’t address potential implementation gaps — like maintaining performance across the WAN —consolidation could prove more problematic than it’s worth. IT leaders need the knowledge, metrics and tools to successfully make the transition. Using Steelhead (and Cascade), they can help boost critical network traffic and improve overall IT operations, leading to higher satisfaction at all stakeholder levels, especially end users.

Riverbed has other great data storage-related success stories, too.Check out this NetApp case study about how Riverbed and NetApp solutions work together for backup too.

Still have questions? Want to go more in-depth? Catch me on Facebook or send me a tweet on Twitter (@SwishData).

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