With the advent of cloud computing, there is an assumption that we should see a great leap forward in globalization. After all, if we reduce the time it takes to set up IT infrastructure, the more readily we can create applications that can span the globe.
The problem with that theory is that the wide area network (WAN) is the weakest link in the global supply chain. While there may be plenty of available bandwidth in the U.S., the fact remains that network bandwidth in many countries around the world is both limited and expensive.
In order to make cloud computing a global reality, we're going to need better approaches to WAN optimization, which is one of the reasons that we see established WAN optimization infrastructure providers such as Riverbed Technology and relative newcomers such as Aryaka all moving towards providing WAN optimization as a cloud computing service.
The fact of the matter is that most IT organizations need some form of WAN optimization. But market adoption of WAN optimization technologies has been limited by the cost of deploying WAN optimization appliances and a general lack of available expertise to manage them.
As WAN optimization becomes a service, however, Aryaka CEO Ajit Gupta says the cost barriers to adoption start to fall away, which in turn should enable IT organizations to take a more global approach to rolling out applications.
There are, of course, a lot of protocol nuances that have to be mastered when it comes to WAN optimization. And there are also a host of data governance and compliance issues related to cloud computing that still need to be addressed.
But as WAN optimization increasingly becomes a service in the cloud, the ability to deliver IT services on a global basis increases. And with that change, the very nature and scale of enterprise computing as we know it today will expand dramatically.