In a recent ESG survey about remote offices and branch offices (ROBOs), we asked respondents "To the best of your knowledge, which of the following application types consume the greatest amount of available WAN bandwidth to/from ROBO locations over the course of a typical business day?"
The list of top offenders included:
- E-mail - This should not be a surprise at all-even with the best spam filtering, every employee gets a lot of e-mails every day and if it is anything like my inbox, half of them have huge PowerPoints attached to them or worse, HD videos and digital pictures. Almost 1/3 of respondents reported this as a top consumer.
- Collaboration/File sharing apps - Yup, this would be your SharePoint app, where, in order for it to have the most value to an entire organization, it needs to be centralized. This means that each and every day, all of your remote workers are accessing, downloading, editing, and uploading files, files that consume WAN bandwidth. To the business, this is a good thing as it drives productivity and collaboration. However, it can have an impact on the WAN, but considering that the other option is to e-mail the files around.... see number 1 above.
- CRM/Salesforce Automation (SFA) - Again, this is one of those tools that needs to be centralized and accessed all the time to be beneficial to a business. All this traffic is definitely having an impact on the WAN as it was the third most cited application. I am sure, though, that the business doesn't mind when the bandwidth is being used to change the order status to "closed won."
- Video/Multimedia creation - With more and more organizations leveraging videos to disseminate corporate information or used for training, ESG anticipates that this application will only climb higher on the list in the near future. Certainly the WAN optimization vendors have recognized the need to support video and have adapted their products accordingly. More on this in a soon to be released WAN optimization Market Landscape Report.
- Web applications/e-commerce sites - Granted, this could cover a wide range of applications, but for the sake of this blog we will assume this traffic is for official business reasons and not someone bidding on a new iPad. Most commonly it would be a distributed application that the organization has been able to convert to a web-based app and deploy centrally.
You can read Bob's other blog entries at Data Center Continuum.