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Are high-bandwidth cloud applications slamming your network?

Date: April 16, 2014 |

Cloud computing offers new opportunities for enterprises to reduce costs, simplify IT and improve the end-user experience. But it’s also creating some new challenges by shifting the burden of application delivery from the data center to the WAN.

As a result, more and more traffic is going through the public Internet. This creates problems for traditional enterprise WAN architectures originally designed to handle mostly internal, predictable traffic. For many companies, the demand for Internet bandwidth is exceeding available network capacity, especially for high-bandwidth software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications.

SaaS and changing network requirements

Growing use of cloud services such as Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps, and SAP Cloud is elevating bandwidth demands and changing network requirements. Moving from traditional on-premise solutions to SaaS counterparts changes the way traffic flows across a WAN. Routing traffic through a central gateway—sometimes in a data center continents away from users—to access the Internet adds delay and bandwidth constraints. Companies are telling us that as a result, they aren’t seeing the ROI they had hoped for on some SaaS applications.

Internet Traffic

Case in point

An IT director from a manufacturing company with 300 global sites recently described how his team moved 14,000 users to Microsoft Office 365. They eliminated email servers at 80 sites and the data center storage needed to run the previous collaboration solution. Leveraging the Internet enabled him to create space on his MPLS network.

However, Office 365 created huge network congestion problems at individual sites as well as Internet access points. Class of service (CoS) helped protect priority applications, but their Internet bandwidth continued to suffer and their WAN optimization benefits evaporated. Since Office 365 impacted the Internet traffic at all 300 sites, he struggled with the idea of continuing to buy Internet or commodity bandwidth.

Getting the most from SaaS solutions

Here’s a solution to the SaaS network problems faced by this IT director and more and more companies today: Supplement the existing network infrastructure with a managed cloud-ready network architecture. A virtualized overlay network and globally distributed cloud centers will enable companies moving key applications to the cloud to seamlessly leverage higher network performance and availability, and with no capex.

Instead of travelling the globe, your SaaS traffic takes a much shorter trip—from your branch offices to the service provider’s local cloud centers to the colocation facilities where the SaaS services are offered and back again, across an intelligent, fully redundant, multicarrier backbone network.

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A global cloud-ready network can help you exploit the promises of the cloud. Your users will see much better performance for Office 365 and other cloud applications and you’ll see greater returns on both your SaaS as well as WAN optimization investments.

Learn more in another recent blog, The cloud-ready network architecture: Diverse connectivity for changing network requirements.

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