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Along with a turbulent macro economic cycle comes business rationalization and in networking the wide area offers a unique opportunity to deliver value both in terms of operational efficiency and business initiative alignment. Advances in network-embedded, software-based WAN Services such as security, Unified Communications (UC) and WAN optimization are starting to deliver the same type of application experience and management tools to control application performance that was once only available over the LAN. But the wide area network has been pieced together, usually site by site, without a comprehensive plan. This lack of planning is most acute in branch-office-to-WAN and data center connections as geographically distributed branches are connected with inconsistent WAN Services and indigenous WAN transport.
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