WAN Optimization appliances … are a boon for those of us who operate in the parts of the world where one has not so reliable or robust telecomm connectivity. They do indeed work, and more importantly they also help reduce bandwidth needs whilst at the same time improve the ability of the remote site to work with the host.
Now such devices also can be used here in the States, and in Europe, to lower bandwidth usage and to improve response times, and it offers the potential to lower costs, though the use of such appliance is not necessarily to lower costs but to improve application performance between sites.
There are a number of providers of such appliances, such as, RIVERBED, CISCO, Blue Coat, F5 Networks, Juniper and others.
IBM experts, Tung OuYang and Nathan DeWitt … brought this to our attention, and highlighted the benefits of using such appliances.
We have since piloted the use of such an appliance, from Riverbed (who were kind and generous with their time and support), in Africa, and can vouch first-hand that it does work, and works very well.
The use of such tools helps to extend one’s reach to ensure that we can continue to provide our services to our customers and potential customers. This is of particular importance to a non-profit organization like ours whose mission is global poverty alleviation through the use of financial services (e.g. microfinance & savings mobilization).