Wide area networks – or WANs – allow companies to extend their computer networks over large distances, to connect multi-site locations to data centres and each other, and then deliver the applications and services required to perform business functions.
When companies extend networks over greater distances and sometimes across multiple providers networks, they face operational challenges including network congestion, packet delay variation and packet loss and even service outages.
Modern applications including voice solutions, videoconferencing, streaming media, virtualised applications and desktops require low latency. Organisations’ bandwidth requirements are also increasing, especially for applications featuring high-definition video.
Working in a conventional manner, it can be expensive and difficult to expand a traditional WAN capability, with corresponding difficulties related to network management, costs and troubleshooting.