WAN critical to virtualization's payoff

But unique challenges arise in optimizing bandwidth for virtual applications.

Guaranteeing application performance over a WAN is hard enough. Now try doing it in a virtual environment.

WAN optimization vendors big and small are developing versions of their products specifically for guaranteeing performance of virtualized applications delivered to remote offices from data centers. In so doing, they are looking to address challenges companies face in providing LAN-like performance for application delivery while availing themselves of the reduced cost and increased flexibility that virtualization provides.

"The biggest issue when you're looking at virtual traffic is the fact that, much like voice, much like video, it's live," says Chris Silva, an analyst at Forrester Research. "If you're accessing it remotely and there's a glitch, you may have an application timeout, you may literally lose connectivity. It's really critical to have real-time interaction speed with that environment when you're working in it virtually. Think about it like any other live, real-time protocol."

Desktop virtualization products like VMware's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) are designed to replace traditional PCs with virtual machines managed from the data center. The potential benefit is a reduction in operating cost, increased control of desktop management, and extension of critical services, such as business continuity and disaster recovery, to enterprise desktops.

But when desktop virtualization is deployed over the WAN, latency and bandwidth constraints limit its effectiveness. According to Cisco, which has an arrangement with VMware for optimizing VDI over the WAN, customers face several challenges in deploying virtual desktops:

-- Poor performance of Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) over the WAN.

-- High bandwidth consumption.

-- Limited scalability, reducing the number of users that can be supported.

-- Poor performance of centralized printing and increased costs of printing at the branch office.

-- Considerable time and bandwidth required for transfer of virtual images.

-- Continuous availability needed within and across the data center for the VMware VDI.

-- High server resource consumption for SSL functions, resulting in a large number of servers.

Cisco says its Wide Area Applications Services (WAAS) product can accelerate the performance of all applications accessed through VMware VDI, including Microsoft Exchange, PowerPoint, Excel and Word, by reducing RDP bandwidth demands by 70%. The company also says WAAS can increase by fourfold the number of VDI users an infrastructure can support, and improve print operations by 70%. The appliance is designed to accelerate virtual image backup by 50 times, thereby reducing bandwidth by 90% for business continuity functions; and providing a 60% to 70% reduction in overall bandwidth requirements.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags virtualisationWAN

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jim Duffy

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?