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Wide area network optimization (WAN optimization) refers to the process, methodologies, tools and technologies for improving data transfer and management processes over a wide area network (WAN). WAN optimization is used to increase the data transfer and access rate over enterprise networks. It is generally performed between the WAN interconnection of data centers or branch offices.
WAN optimization is also known as WAN acceleration.
WAN optimization incorporates a suite of services such as traffic shaping, data deduplication, data compression, VPN tunneling, data caching, network latency, network monitoring and more. It also allows organizations to allocate network resources to mission-critical applications with much less latency. Moreover, WAN optimization enables the segregation of network bandwidth between prioritized and non-prioritized sourcing hosts. WAN optimization is typically achieved through a specialized WAN optimizer or WAN accelerator product, which is a combination of hardware and software technologies.