If you have been considering purchasing WAN Optimization products such as Riverbed, Cisco, Nortel or others all have variant features, so it is crucial to understand what exactly you’re looking for. Are you looking for faster throughput or more reliable data access? Are you trying to reduce bandwidth or improve refreshing? Ultimately, like with anything technical, it is crucial to understand what you need before you get a solution!
WAFS vs WAN Optimization: Some people are looking to have a lot of data pass through a compression system to maximize efficiency for WAN’s. Other’s are looking for 100% capability to read/write to files (WAFS). If you don’t know what you actually need, you’ll likely buy the wrong product.
System Requirements: Every WAN Optimization product on the market has system requirements. Learn what you have and what you need to make a solution work. You may have to upgrade your connectivity to make a solution work. This should be factored into your Total Cost of Ownership numbers!
Organizational Needs and Behavior: Before purchasing a system that costs $50,000 or more, you really will want to make sure the organization will force the solution to be adopted. We have seen some companies spend $50,000 or more and because the employees found the WAN Optimization process to be too cumbersome, they wound up wasting the money. It wasn’t that they didn’t use it, but the parts they used could have been purchased for $5,000 or so and they just didn’t properly leverage all of the technology to their fullest. If your organization lacks consistent structure and accountibility, you will want the most simple solution, even if it carries extra limitations with it.
Local caching or centralized caching: Does your WAN Optimization process need to lock out users as one team members works on a file? Do multiple iterations of a file cause concern?
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