No. 7: The woe of the WAN
There's more to WAN performance than just the size of the pipe between officesFollow @pvenezia
Think you need to reclaim WAN bandwidth? You can easily spend a bundle on traffic-shaping appliances or caching engines in an attempt to rein in WAN bandwidth utilization. But what if it’s not the pipe?
First things first: Before you buy anything, get a solid idea of what traffic is crossing the WAN. Network analysis tools such as Ethereal, ntop, Network Instrument’s Observer, or WildPacket’s EtherPeek NX can give you a fresh look at what’s really on the wire.
You may find that replication times for your Active Directory are set far too low and simply configuring longer replication intervals can buy you breathing room during the workday. Are some users in remote locations mapping shares to the wrong servers and pulling large files across the WAN without realizing it? Are the vestiges of a long-disabled IPX network still floating around? Some WAN problems boil down to application misconfiguration, where traffic is directed across the WAN when it should have stayed local. Regular reports on WAN traffic patterns will save money and headaches.