Tech Target - WAN managers must weigh using one or multiple service providers

(28-Oct-09) Wide area network (WAN) managers need to think less like techies and more like business strategists when deciding whether to power the WAN with one or multiple service providers. They have to decide how much risk they can tolerate and weigh that against their budgets.

"What does downtime cost you? You have to bring that business element into the equation," said John Stehman, a senior research analyst at Info-Tech Research. "Every business will find there is an acceptable amount of time they could be down if a problem occurs -- it could be four hours, it could be one hour, it could be zero hours. That should drive your backup purchasing."

Cost was the deciding factor in the past, Stehman said. But deciding how many service providers to use in a WAN has become more complicated with an increased focus on business continuity, the rapid pace of technology development, the uncertainty of the economy, and the widespread use of smartphones and cellular networks.

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