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Top 8 WAN Optimization Tools

Cato NetworksCitrix SD-WANExindaSteelheadSymantec ProxySilver Peak VXAryaka SmartServicesWAAS
  1. leader badge
    I haven't had any trouble, and practically forget that I'm using it. The scalability is quite good.
  2. leader badge
    The best feature is the backup capability, where all of the users' computers are tied into a central data repository.The most valuable feature is its reliability.
  3. Find out what your peers are saying about Cato Networks, Citrix, GFI and others in WAN Optimization. Updated: October 2021.
    542,721 professionals have used our research since 2012.
  4. The most valuable feature is the ability to create policies where we can tailor them to the customer. It enables us to prioritize apps and users for bandwidth.
  5. It is very easy to install the solution. I find the most valuable to be the compression and exchange replication.
  6. The solution is scalable.It is easy to use, and it is stable and scalable. You don't need a large team for deployment and maintenance.
  7. I really love the auto-tunnel creation feature.
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    Use our free recommendation engine to learn which WAN Optimization solutions are best for your needs.
    542,721 professionals have used our research since 2012.

How does WAN optimization work?

WAN acceleration uses WAN Optimization Controllers (WOCs) to relieve congestion, improve transfer rates, and increase the responsiveness of applications. So, how does this work?

First, we need to understand the two key problems WOCs address:

  • WANs are prone to congestion because of their limited capacity.
  • Since they are longer than LAN (local area network) links, they suffer from high latency.

To solve these issues, WOCs use the following techniques:

  1. Compression: You can boost WAN performance by reducing the amount of data sent over the WAN, thus increasing the bandwidth. Some tools include header compression, which can reduce the size of packets.
  2. Caching: when you transfer a file over a WAN, a copy of this is cached by the WOC. When other users request the same file, it serves the cached copy locally, reducing the response time.
  3. Latency reduction: During the process of sending a file through WAN, hundreds of communications are sent, creating latency. The WOC prevents latency by sending some or all the files to the remote WOC, which intercepts the protocol and generates the response, preventing protocol chat and accelerating transmissions.
  4. Data reduction: This technique combines compression and caching. A WOC that uses data reduction inspects the data in transit and stores it as it receives it. When detecting data that was already transmitted, it sends a reference instead. This enables the remote WOC to retrieve the reference from its cache. Therefore, a WOC prevents sending data twice, effectively reducing the amount of data in transit by up to 75%.

Why do we need WAN optimization?

Area networks are expanding to include more applications, cloud and legacy technologies. Thus, optimizing the WAN is becoming necessary to ensure performance. Digital transformation is driving more traffic over the WAN, often affecting how business-critical applications perform.

The WAN starts out with latency issues to begin with, and adding to it the increasing traffic is a recipe for disaster. You have two options to solve this problem: you can purchase more bandwidth or you can implement WAN optimization. WAN acceleration was born from the need to improve the throughput of transmission control protocols (TCP) when bandwidth requirements are larger than its availability.

WAN optimization tools and techniques accelerate the traffic between applications by applying techniques to reduce the latency and the amount of data transferred at the same time through the WAN. As a result, it increases the bandwidth.

WAN optimization tools improve transfer times and optimize network performance through the following techniques:

  • Prioritizing the traffic and allocating the bandwidth.
  • Eliminating redundant data, reducing the amount of data sent across the WAN.
  • Limiting how much bandwidth each application can use.

Benefits of WAN Optimization

WAN acceleration offers the possibility of improving WAN performance without having to invest in more hardware. The benefits of implementing a WAN optimization solution include:

  • Easier to access files: The catching feature makes it easier to access files, especially ones used frequently. The data doesn’t need to be retrieved again, thus preventing reloading the entire file.
  • Supports remote work and distributed locations: By optimizing the WAN, you can shorten the data transfer time between remote locations. WAN acceleration speeds up communications, sharing, and collaborating.
  • Improved performance: Applications run faster because of the expanded bandwidth capability. Even applications that are not affected by optimization end up running more smoothly because they have more bandwidth to operate.
  • Increased efficiency: Since you have less latency, you can loosen the network congestion.
  • Cost savings: WAN optimization enables you to reduce the cost of equipment by consolidating applications. Also, because it optimizes bandwidth management, it minimizes expenses.
  • Faster data recovery: Caching simplifies the remote backup of data, which increases response capabilities in case of disaster.
Find out what your peers are saying about Cato Networks, Citrix, GFI and others in WAN Optimization. Updated: October 2021.
542,721 professionals have used our research since 2012.