Top 10 tips in 2010 on wide area network technology

In the wide area network technology space, what were the top 10 tips that enabled WAN managers and engineers to learn more in 2010? The ones discussed in this best-of list speak to larger business IT trends. See our top 10 in 2010 countdown.

What are the top 10 tips in 2010 on wide area network technology? Our readers -- ranging from company presidents and CTOs to network engineers and designers -- chose the top 10 in 2010 based on popularity and pertinence.

Our list reinforces overarching technology trends that speak to many business concerns: Companies need applications and networks to run faster, and WAN professionals must gain visibility into traffic that is increasingly farther away and more complex, in order to optimize, secure and manage it. This is why topics like virtual private network (VPN) setup, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) troubleshooting, service provider negotiation and cloud computing lingered in this year's limelight. What's the most pressing wide area network technology concern for our readers? See for yourself in our countdown of the top 10 tips in 2010:

No. 10 -- How cloud computing challenges an IT manager's WAN strategy

While cloud computing technology seemed as overhyped as it was misunderstood, many companies are beginning to seriously consider cloud computing deployments. In this tip, understand how cloud computing challenges your WAN strategy, and see how a WAN manager's job functions and responsibilities will change during a cloud computing implementation.

No. 9 -- Negotiating network service contracts with WAN carriers

When WAN performance problems are your provider's fault, how can you get what you need from them? Here are the top 10 tips that describe how to negotiate network service contracts with potential carriers that provide wide area network technology services. Learn how to find the best provider for your WAN at the best price and get the most out of your service-level agreement (SLA).

No. 8 -- Mobile WAN routers: Comparison and considerations

If you have road warriors like many more companies have in 2010, then you're probably worrying about exorbitant mobile broadband fees. Fortunately, a cost-effective alternative exists: mobile WAN routers. This tip explains when it is appropriate to use mobile WAN routers to support your increasingly mobile workforce.

No. 7 -- WAN optimization solutions need application visibility, control

You may have noticed that wide area network technology vendors have been adding visibility and control to their devices in 2010 -- and with good reason. This tip analyzes the WAN optimization market and explains why network application visibility and control are just as important as acceleration.

No. 6 -- Using a VPN to secure road warriors is crucial

As in years prior, WAN managers must protect corporate data by ensuring their road warriors are using a VPN. Surprisingly, many companies still don't use VPNs. Read this tip to learn what can happen when you don't and understand what VPNs protect against.

No. 5 -- Troubleshooting MPLS WAN services

MPLS has grown into one of the most popular WAN services of 2010. However, with every deployment comes a need to troubleshoot these services, and VPLS, pseudowires and Layer 3 VPNs can be trickier than traditional provider offerings. In this tip, learn how to fix MPLS WAN service problems.

No. 4 -- Using QoS classification mapping to improve WAN application traffic

When a business-critical application is performing poorly, companies lose money and look to WAN managers to fix it. In order to reliably deliver application traffic, it's important for IT managers to map business-critical applications to their own QoS priority levels. Learn in this tip how to develop your own QoS prioritization strategy to help you match your network needs to your vendors' abilities, in order to make it easier to add or swap out vendors and technologies.

No. 3 -- How to set up an SSTP VPN

Those working with wide area network technology most commonly work with VPNs, which is why our readers flocked to this tip. Learn how to set up a Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP) VPN connection to secure remote users on your wide area network.

No. 2 -- WAN video conferencing network design requirements for QoS

In 2010 and beyond, many WAN managers will have to support traffic highly sensitive to latency and jitter -- traffic like VoIP and video. To ensure high-quality video conferencing over your WAN, you need to make sure you have enough bandwidth, among other things. Check out these WAN video conferencing network design configuration requirements before you embark on your deployment.

No. 1 -- Web SSL VPN introduction

The advent of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) VPNs has changed the way enterprises secure remote users. SSL VPNs can be easier, faster and cheaper than their IPsec counterparts. To learn about Web SSL VPN advantages, what Web SSL VPNs are and what they protect against, read our No. 1 tip of 2010.

See more of's 2010 year in review:

Or view trends that came out of the following year in the top 10 WAN tips for 2011


This was last published in December 2010

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