WAN Cloud Communication Optimization

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Aberdeen Group Analyst Insight: Cloud Services Redefine the Need for WAN Optimization.

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WAN Cloud Communication Optimization

  1. 1. December, 2010 Cloud Services Redefine the Need for WAN OptimizationIn September 2009, Aberdeen found the business adoption of cloud Analyst Insightcomputing carried enormous potential cost savings and other efficiencies, Aberdeen’s Insights provide thebut not without risk. In the year since that study, IT managers in every type analyst perspective of theof organization and across every industry have had to address the question research as drawn from anof cloud migration through taking specific actions: conduct a cost/benefit aggregated view of the researchanalysis, develop a strategy, allocate resources, and begin to execute. For surveys, interviews, andmany, only then do the risks become clear, materialize into real threats, and data analysisin some cases have disastrous results that could be avoided with the properprecautions. Based on a new study conducted by Aberdeen Group in Cloud ArchitecturesDecember 2010, this document explores the changing - but still vital - role WAN Optimization solutionof network performance monitoring and management solutions in the providers have responded tosuccessful cloud-enabled enterprise. the rising adoption of cloud computing by developingThe Objective of WAN Optimization products to address specific cloud architectures, whichThe top two pressures compelling organizations with both on-premise and include:cloud-based architectures are the same: the thirst for more bandwidth andthe need to accommodate an increasingly mobile workforce. After that, it √ Private: in the corporate data center, managed bygets more interesting (Figure 1). internal IT staffFigure 1: WAN Optimization for Cost vs. Customer Satisfaction √ Managed private: in the corporate data center, Increasing bandwidth requirements from 83% managed by a contract applications or services 76% services provider 57% √ Hosted private: Increasing demands of remote workforce 51% enterprise- owned hardware co-located in a third-party Data communications is too expensive 44% data center (may be 20% managed by internal IT staff Need to improve responsiveness to external or by a third-party) 20% customers 46% √ Virtual private: third-Employee productivity is unsatisfactory or could On-Premise party, hosted, owned and 26% be improved 37% Cloud managed √ Public: infrastructure-as-a- 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% service (often offered in a Source: Aberdeen Group, December 2010 subscription or pay-per-use model)As shown in Figure 1, organizations heavily invested in on-premise solutionsare more than twice as likely to be looking to WAN Optimization as a cost- √ Hybrid: an integratedcutting measure. Organizations that have migrated to a cloud platform for combination of two or more of the abovetheir business-critical applications are more focused on improving user© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  2. 2. Cloud Services Redefine the Need for WAN OptimizationPage 2experience. This finding points to the fundamental challenge in supportingcloud-based applications, the inherent latency introduced by a morecomplex network infrastructure and the impact that latency has on end-userexperience. WAN Optimization technologies address both the cost and theuser-experience challenges; however, the overriding purpose of investing inWAN Optimization solutions is a function of the nature of the networktopology.Why Networking Cost is Less of an Issue for Cloud UsersThe finding also points to the fact that organizations that have migrated to acloud environment have, in so doing, addressed the cost-of-networkingpressure. Quite simply, the total cost of network ownership, management,and support is lower in a cloud computing environment (Figure 2).Figure 2: Annual TCO of Network Services Per Employee$120.00$100.00 Hardware $28.59 Software $80.00 Services Management $25.52 $60.00 $40.00 $12.80 $24.27 $8.40 $20.00 $7.96 $24.96 $15.37 $0.00 On-Premise Cloud Source: Aberdeen Group, December 2010As is evident in Figure 2, the average total cost of networking services peremployee in a cloud environment is less than half that of an on-premiseenvironment. In addition, the projected increase in cost for the coming year(2011) is 5.8% for on-premise users and only 3.9% for cloud users.The Performance Hit from Cloud MigrationIt is important to draw a distinction between applications that are tolerantof latency and those that are not. Some latency introduced into an emailsystem as a result of cloud migration does not demand compensation, sinceemail is an asynchronous form of communication. Whereas, latency© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  3. 3. Cloud Services Redefine the Need for WAN Optimization Page 3 introduced into an application that depends on real-time delivery of voice or video renders the application unusable without additional investment in bandwidth. As is shown in Figure 3, the cost benefit of cloud migration is negated in the case of VoIP. Figure 3: Change in Cost of Service from Cloud Migration 16% 14.3% On-Premise Cloud 13.8% 14% 13.0%Year-over-Year Increase in Cost 12% 10% 9.3% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% Email VoIP Source: Aberdeen Group, December 2010 This is why organizations that have migrated their critical business applications (especially synchronous communications applications, such as VoIP) to the cloud are turning to WAN Optimization for performance reasons. WAN Optimization for Network Throughput The key to maintaining end-user or customer satisfaction when working in dynamic, elastic, environments like the cloud - that is difficult or impossible to monitor and control - is in improving overall data throughput. WAN Optimizations impact on throughput improvement in an on-premise environment is well-documented in prior Aberdeen research (see references at the end of this document). The left two bars of each group in Figure 4 show that the introduction of WAN Optimization solutions accelerates throughput performance increases for email, CRM and VoIP applications, just to identify three of the most common types of application. The interesting finding here is the relative importance of WAN Optimization for synchronous communications applications, typified by VoIP. Whereas its impact on an on-premise VoIP system is equal to about a 19% acceleration, applied in a cloud environment, the impact is over 30%. And while the net result is that voice communications in the cloud still suffer lower overall throughput improvement than their on-premise counterparts, the value of applying WAN Optimization to VoIP services is relatively much greater. © 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200 www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  4. 4. Cloud Services Redefine the Need for WAN OptimizationPage 4Figure 4: The Impact of WAN Optimization on Network Application Throughput With WAN Optimization Without WAN Optimization 25% 20.8% 21.6% 19.0% 19.2% 19.6% 20% 18.9% 17.5% 16.5% 15% 13.9% 12.7% 11.2% 10% 8.0% 5% 0% On- Cloud- On- Cloud- On- Cloud- Premises based Email Premises based CRM Premises based VoIP Email CRM VoIP Source: Aberdeen Group, December 2010WAN Optimization Addresses Risks in Cloud MigrationSeveral significant risks arise when an organization considers migratingcritical business systems to the cloud. They include: • Increased system complexity • Risk of data loss • Vulnerability to security breach • Inability to gain a holistic (end-to-end) view of network activityOur research shows that WAN Optimization technologies provide anavenue for addressing and mitigating these risks. The risks vary dependingon the type of cloud architecture (see sidebar on page 1) and solutions havebeen developed that are tailored to meet the individual requirements ofeach.System ComplexityAs critical business applications are migrated to a cloud platform,(particularly given the myriad underlying virtualization paradigms that maybe introduced to support application delivery), the network, the servers andstorage arrays, the data, and the applications change from a static set oftechnologies to a dynamic one. Real-time load balancing, dynamicprovisioning of resources, and new sources of latency combine to makeroot-cause analysis challenging. In this scenario, providing IT support tomaintain required service levels becomes more complex. Forty-sevenpercent (47%) of IT administrators surveyed indicate that the risingcomplexity of their infrastructure (at the network, server, and application© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  5. 5. Cloud Services Redefine the Need for WAN OptimizationPage 5levels) is a major challenge. While WAN Optimization does not make theinfrastructure simpler, it does provide deeper visibility into network traffic,resource utilization, and application delivery metrics. This gives theadministrator a tool to improve root cause analysis and, ultimately, speedsissue resolution.Risk of Data LossIT managers responding to our survey indicate that without WANOptimization technologies in place, incidents of data loss have risen 8% overthe last year. Especially in the case of cloud architectures involving third-party hosted infrastructure, the risk of data loss due to system crash, packeterror, administrator error, or backup/restore failure is rising with the rise ininfrastructure complexity (Figure 5).Figure 5: WAN Optimizations Impact on the Risk of Data Loss 15 With WAN Optimization Without WAN Optimization 11.8YoY Percent Change in Risk of Data Loss 10 5 4.1 0 Cloud On-Premise -5 -6.6 -10 -12.8 -15 Source: Aberdeen Group, December 2010However, as Figure 5 illustrates, WAN Optimization solutions address therising incidence of data loss, giving on-premise IT administrators a 6.6%decrease in data loss events, year-over-year. Furthermore, WANOptimization offers administrators of cloud-based systems an even greaterreturn. The source of the advantage lies in the ability of the IT security teamto implement additional safeguards in the form of redundancy, datamirroring, more frequent backups, software-based controls that guardagainst accidental user error, and deep packet inspection. While these arenot necessarily features of a WAN Optimization solution, it is theoptimization function that allows these additional controls to be put in placewithout a negative impact of system performance and, by extension, enduser experience.© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  6. 6. Cloud Services Redefine the Need for WAN Optimization Page 6 Data Security Encrypting data is more important to overall IT security when the data is traveling along unpredictable paths, as is the case in a cloud environment. However, without WAN Optimization, cloud-based IT administrators are, on average, encrypting a lower percentage of their data than administrators of on-premise architectures (Figure 6). This is due to the unwanted addition of latency introduced by encrypting data in motion. Figure 6: WAN Optimization Allows More Data Security60% With WAN Optimization Without WAN Optimization 50.0%50% 39.4%40% 37.2% 33.8%30%20%10%0% Cloud On-Premise Source: Aberdeen Group, December 2010 Conversely, those using WAN Optimization solutions are free to encrypt more of their data as it moves from server to server or from server to workstation because WAN Optimization eliminates much of the latency, not necessarily from the encryption process but from elsewhere in the system. Here again, it is the optimization function that allows additional controls to be put in place without a negative impact of system performance and, by extension, end user experience. A Holistic View of Network Activity Especially in the case of cloud architectures involving third-party hosted infrastructure, it is very difficult to gain a true end-to-end view of the movement of information, pinpoint bottlenecks, and manage the network to optimize throughput. A collection of tools can be used to reveal activity on each layer. However, without a unified platform to consolidate the information coming from those analysis tools, the IT administrator has a very difficult time gaining a holistic picture and making sense of the data. For this reason, IT administrators who responded to Aberdeens survey indicating that they already use WAN Optimization solutions for their cloud infrastructure also indicated they have or plan to adopt integration tools to help them manage more holistically (Figure 7). © 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200 www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  7. 7. Cloud Services Redefine the Need for WAN Optimization Page 7 Figure 7: Adoption of Unified View of WAN Performance Current Planned within 12 months Planned beyond 12 months API for integration withother network management 24% 31% 22% platforms Unified platform for managing application 42% 39% 7% performance visibility and QoS (Quality of Service) Single Platform for WAN 21% 34% 14% Optimization and Security 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Source: Aberdeen Group, December 2010 Within the next 12 months, over 80% of our survey respondents will have the ability to manage application performance and WAN quality of service in a single dashboard. Over half will have a single platform unifying WAN performance management and WAN security. In a dynamic and increasingly complex environment, only the fully armed IT manager will be able to keep pace with user demand, manage cost, and maintain or improve overall quality of service. The CTOs Business Case for WAN Optimization Our research reveals that technology obsolescence, the pending expiry of equipment leases and software licenses, and major new releases of software solutions are prime motivators causing CTOs to reevaluate the IT architecture. Twenty-one percent (21%) of survey respondents who lease WAN Optimization equipment indicate that their lease will expire within the next 12 months. This is significant because as the CTO contemplates renewing such a contract, other significant initiatives such as VoIP and telepresence deployments, server and storage virtualization projects, and potential managed services agreements influence the decision. In these critical times, the well-prepared IT manager must present a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis to the CFO or other primary budget- holder using data that is not readily available. WAN Optimization tools can provide assistance in scenario planning through network emulation and performance impact simulations so that the CTO can present real numbers in the proposal. Here, the value of a holistic view of the infrastructure, architecture, and traffic helps to verify and validate emulation results. © 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200 www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  8. 8. Cloud Services Redefine the Need for WAN OptimizationPage 8Key TakeawaysWhen considering cloud migration, either at the network, server, orapplication level, the following are some of the strategic actions and bestpractices that curb costs, improve performance, and mitigate risk: • Identify the sources of bandwidth demand within the organization and the cost of satisfying that demand • Consider the cost/benefit of migrating critical business applications to a cloud architecture, and be careful not to ignore the inherent risks • Understand the difference between synchronous and asynchronous data applications and allocate bandwidth and optimization technologies appropriately • Evaluate the risk of data loss and network vulnerabilities and apply redundancy, encryption, and other security technologies – being careful not to introduce latency into applications that cannot afford it • Adopt a unified platform for holistic, end-to-end network visibility and leverage the resulting intelligence to make strategic decisions relating to new bandwidth procurement, network upgrades, and cloud and virtualization initiatives • Prepare a business case for WAN Optimization investment by understanding the impact of upcoming architectural and software changesAberdeens research has shown that IT managers in every type oforganization and across every industry must address the challenge ofproviding cost-effective, high-quality network services to satisfy a growingdemand for bandwidth, an increasingly complex infrastructure, and newchoices in the data center. A critical component of the solution to thosechallenges is improving the performance of the WAN and an effective wayto gain the intelligence and flexibility to accomplish that is by leveragingWAN Optimization tools.For more information on this or other research topics, please visitwww.aberdeen.com.© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  9. 9. Cloud Services Redefine the Need for WAN OptimizationPage 9 Related Research The CIOs View of Security and Cloud Optimizing the Performance of Web Computing; June 2010 Applications - Directions for Improvement; October 2009 Business Adoption of Cloud Computing; September 2009 Author: Russ Klein, VP and Group Director, IT Research (russ.klein@aberdeen.com)Since 1988, Aberdeens research has been helping corporations worldwide become Best-in-Class. Havingbenchmarked the performance of more than 644,000 companies, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to provideorganizations with the facts that matter — the facts that enable companies to get ahead and drive results. Thats whyour research is relied on by more than 2.2 million readers in over 40 countries, 90% of the Fortune 1,000, and 93% ofthe Technology 500.As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targetedmarketing company. Aberdeens analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information – Opportunity – Insight – Engagement – Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates thestrategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.comor call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.comThis document is the result of primary research performed by Aberdeen Group. Aberdeen Groups methodologiesprovide for objective fact-based research and represent the best analysis available at the time of publication. Unlessotherwise noted, the entire contents of this publication are copyrighted by Aberdeen Group, Inc. and may not bereproduced, distributed, archived, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent byAberdeen Group, Inc. 010110a© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897

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