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June 2013 / Vol. 4/ No. 3

The new WAN: Virtualization, user-aware optimization, and more

In all the hubbub about software-defined networking (SDN) and network programmability, it’s easy to lose focus on traditional wide area networking technologies. Yet WAN innovation is plentiful these days, with radical developments in the way we architect and manage networks. This innovation will be driven, in part, by SDN and network virtualization. New technology will enable a sort of WAN-on-demand where service providers and enterprises can automatically spin up long-distance virtual networks to interconnect data centers, campuses and remote offices. Soon these long-distance virtual segments will be able to cross network domains to enable granular routing across hybrid clouds, for example. But it’s not just SDN driving the new WAN. WAN optimization itself is now being optimized. In this issue of The Network Evolution, we learn that WAN optimization and application acceleration can be improved by technology that lets admins prioritize applications and data according to user identity, location, time of day and other factors. ...

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