5 Ways to Prime Your Network for Distributed Workers, Part 2

In the first part of this series, we looked at how businesses could best support workers in branch/remote offices, who often depend on real-time applications like UC, VoIP and virtual desktop infrastructure to stay in touch with colleagues and access company data. Let’s get right to it and examine some other ways that the network can be prepared for remote office workers.

3) Prioritize time- and performance-sensitive applications, including VoIP and VDI
Not all applications are equally important to the success of a business in general or to the productivity of distributed workers in particular. VoIP and VDI are often priorities for communication and collaboration, and as such they require special treatment from the WAN.

Prioritization based on class-of-service allows high priority packets to travel without interference from lower priority ones. Using IP DSCP markings as well as data about port numbers, sources and destination IP addresses, traffic can be denoted as real-time/VoIP and properly prioritized.

The result is much better call quality, without frequent delays or choppiness. Distributed workers can feel confident that they’re on the same page as their colleagues in other branch offices.

Video conferencing can improve the remote work experience, but it requires a resilient networkVideo conferencing can improve the remote work experience, but it requires a resilient network

4) Implement resilient multi-path connectivity for remote work applications
Everyone has likely been on the end of a dropped call at some point, and its an incredibly frustrating experience. For distributed workers, a dropped VoIP call or VDI lag (i.e., the classic Monday morning “boot storm” when everyone logs into their virtual desktops at once) is a huge setback that can take them out of sync with the rest of the organization.

“Monitoring facilitates rapid network adaptability.”

Traditional WANs typically route calls through a single dedicated circuit, meaning that any failure there results in an instantly dropped call. Failover and rerouting procedures aren’t ideal either, since reconnecting can take a while and even necessitate starting all over or abandoning the conversation.

In contrast, an SD-WAN could provide the intelligent and resilient multi-path connectivity needed for critical applications for remote workers. Network quality is constantly monitored in order to find the path with the least latency and lowest level of packet loss.

Moreover, this monitoring facilitates rapid network adaptability. In the event of path degradation, VoIP traffic can be redirected to a better path in a fraction of a second without any adverse effects on call quality.

5) Don’t stop at WAN optimization
WAN optimization on its own sounds good in principle as a strategy for pushing more data through an existing network to accommodate the rising number of distributed workers along with the applications on which they rely each day. However, such traditional optimization lacks the ability to support real-time applications which power the modern organization today. A software-defined WAN is the solution ,modern businesses need to support business agility and worker effectiveness no matter where they are located.

Given the size of the workforce at remote branch locations and the real-time nature of applications such as VoIP and VDI, organizations should not sell themselves short. Distributed office workers require the support of a cutting-edge SD-WAN to maximize their productivity and job satisfaction.

Categories: Application Performance/Application Quality, IT Challenges, Network Reliability, Business Agility, Enhance WAN Optimization

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