New applications have great potential to give organizations a major boost, from reinvigorating a sales force to bringing multiple offices together on the same communications platform. But those benefits can be minimized when bandwidth isn't optimized enough to support them.
When rolling out new applications, spending some time on bandwidth considerations can bring significant, long-term advantages — and save IT from dealing with user frustration over applications that aren't working as promised. Here's what to keep in mind:
With any new application, IT should know usage levels before the first user logs in. Collecting data on who will be using an application, when the peak usage times will be, how heavily mobile devices are utilized, and other factors are vital for bandwidth optimization. Otherwise, applications could be implemented on the network and immediately lead to bottlenecks, access problems, and overuse of help desk support. Optimizing bandwidth is only partially about tools — another top consideration is how bandwidth is being used, and how that usage may be changed as a result of new assets like applications on the network.
With a firm grasp on the usage patterns that will come in with a new application, it's easier for IT to prioritize traffic on the network. WAN acceleration devices can be useful for shaping traffic since they tend to have more granularity than standard network devices, but it's also important to optimize bandwidth to be able to accommodate traffic changes. For example, an application may be used more heavily when project teams are racing to meet a client deadline. Having robust bandwidth to handle the traffic from numerous endpoints will be imperative for hitting that business goal.
Although it seems that security would be a separate issue from bandwidth optimization and application acceleration, it's actually vital for both. Implementing strong security controls, both at the application and the network levels, will not only keep data safe, but also provide recovery options that are critical to organizational effectiveness. When rolling out new applications, IT has to review security protocols, as well as end-user policies and procedures, to ensure that bandwidth isn't being compromised by inappropriate access, downloads, and usage.
When there's a lack of visibility across a network, it's nearly impossible to have proper bandwidth optimization. That's because there will be limited insight into the application layer, which tracks not only how a new application performs and what network resources it will consume, but also how that application will run in comparison to others on the network.
With that level of visibility, it's possible to optimize bandwidth in order to have shorter backup schedule, less performance degradation, and faster data transfer between applications and cloud-based services. Most importantly for mobile workforces, optimization as a result of visibility can help streamline how applications are delivered to numerous mobile endpoints.
To get the most out of application delivery networking and bandwidth optimization, consider setting up a comprehensive IT evaluation that can identify gaps and performance issues, and get you on the right track quickly.