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WAN Optimization 101: How Can Your Firm Benefit?

By Dina Ferriero | Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

In today’s technologically demanding business environment, hedge funds and investment firms are constantly seeking ways to improve efficiency in order to stay competitive and profitable within budgetary restraints. One strategy for achieving this objective that is becoming increasingly popular in the investment industry is wide-area network optimization, or WAN optimization.

What is WAN Optimization?global communications

A company’s wide-area network (WAN) encompasses all aspects of its global enterprise. This network connects all offices and individuals who are a part of the organization across all physical locations. Traditionally, connectivity between workstations is faster and more efficient when both are located within the same office space. When sharing information between PCs, laptops or mobile devices that are in different geographic locations, the lag time is often greater.

Ideally, firms would, of course, prefer to have rapid information sharing capabilities between all points on their WANs. However, the costs involved in implementing telecommunication lines with enough bandwidth to accommodate this type of connectivity are typically very high. Since telcom charges are incurred on a recurring monthly basis, this could result in an astronomical investment over the long run.

WAN optimization provides an alternative way to rapidly transmit data between disparate points on a WAN without the excessive long term investment. Providers such as Eze Castle’s partner Riverbed offer solutions that can enable the transmission of large volumes of data across relatively small telcom lines. These solutions condense and encrypt the data at the point from which it is sent out (so that it requires only a fraction of the bandwidth) and then reverse this process at the other end, thus enabling the rapid and secure transmission of data.

What are the benefits of this technology?

WAN optimization allows firms to reduce their long term telecommunication costs significantly. While there are initial set-up and installation expenses to consider, monthly charges will remain low as large volumes of data will be transmitted using minimal bandwidth. Over the long term, this becomes a very cost-effective solution.

In addition to cost savings, there are a number of other advantages associated with WAN optimization that hedge funds can take advantage of, including:

  • increased application acceleration up to 50x;

  • IT consolidation across several office locations;

  • enterprise-wide network and application visibility to facilitate efficient teamwork;

  • improved data back-up capabilities (condensed information can be sent to data center facilities faster) for better disaster recovery planning;

  • optimized, LAN-like performance for all mobile devices and laptops for remote employees;

  • streamlined communications between all employees regardless of physical location;

  • enhanced cloud computing utilization; and

  • increased operational agility and reduced upgrade costs (respond to changing business needs rapidly by adding information or even entire data centers without requiring additional bandwidth for communications).

Is it a good fit for all firms?

While WAN optimization solutions can be very beneficial for hedge funds and investment firms, they do not make sense for every organization. This technology is best suited for medium-sized and large funds with multiple office locations, data centers and mobile employees who need all of these points on the network to communicate securely in real-time.

Looking for more information on WAN optimization? Interested in whether this technology might be beneficial for your hedge fund or investment firm? Contact the Eze Castle Communications Team today, or learn more about this technology here

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Photo Credit: Istock

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