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Dec 16 2008   5:40PM GMT

Overheard – Do we really need Wide Area File Services?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

jon_toigo.jpg Lewis Carroll would’ve had a field day satirizing the re-emergence of WAFS (Wide Area File Services), a storage industry acronym with as many meanings as there are vendors offering products. Chase this particular white rabbit down its hole, and Alice the IT manager could embark on a journey at least as bizarre as her namesake’s trip to Wonderland.

Jon Toigo, Strategic Info Management: Wide Area File Services

I’ve been reading about WAN optimization this morning and am shaking my head at how vendors seem to be alienating would-be customers by drowning them in proprietary lingo. Dennis Drogset (Network World) did a great job breaking down the issues so I could understand them. 

The issues have been that while WAN optimization products deliver real value on a link-by-link basis, they obscure end-to-end visibility so that strategic planners are left to guess at the real “before” and “after.” They are also typically housed as an appliance with, up until very recently, little interest in integration with the rest of the management community. Finally, as “cheese-stand-alone” solutions, they become costly when scaled to large enterprise environments with hundreds and sometimes thousands of remote locations.

Ok. I get it now.  WAN optimization vendors are scrambling because nobody in their right mind today wants to buy into an expensive cheese-stands-alone solution.

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