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The process of globalization continues apace. Today, virtually no major enterprise restricts business activities to its local market. The desire to grow and the need for geographical proximity to customers, even in the international marketplace, drive companies to take an increasingly global approach to business. Furthermore, to keep costs in check, routine tasks are being offshore to lower-wage countries. Today's enterprises often have production facilities, subsidiaries and offices on several continents. Wide area networks (WANs) provide remote sites with access to the company's ICT applications. In recent years, rising cost pressures have prompted widespread consolidation and centralization of ICT infrastructure. However, that increases the physical distance between data centers and users.
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