Introducing techniques to address network performance not only improves end user satisfaction, but it is also an attractive alternative to increasing bandwidth and cost. While wide area network bandwidth is often the focus of attention when companies are looking to improve network speed, it is a good idea to investigate improvements through router settings first. Settings to consider include compression and caching features.
- Router compression settings are designed to address unnecessary bandwidth use in networks. Introducing compression configurations in routers reduces the size of data being transmitted. These configurations are especially attractive when network transport utilization increases. With settings to optimize network traffic and improve performance and speed, compression is a more cost-effective option than investing budget dollars on more bandwidth. Increasing bandwidth will not address the root cause of poor performance, therefore the investment dollars used will not provide for the desired return.
- Data caching introduces a technique to reduce the amount of requests for data transferred over a network. Wide area networks are designed with less bandwidth than local area networks. To improve performance and responsiveness for employees at remote locations or branch offices, local caching configurations can be introduced. This approach reduces the volume of information sent over slower WAN network links. The result is increased speed of information when certain types of data are cached and used locally based on demand.
- Performance routing allows engineers to establish configuration settings in response to performance degradation in the network. The physical topology or network layout plays an important role in supporting this setting. If performance is reduced due to congestion, the router can avoid the main path on a temporary basis and select an alternate route as long as the network supports this as an option.
Quality of Service
- Quality of service or QOS can be configured in routers to improve performance for applications. Introducing QOS settings allows engineers to give certain applications preferential treatment. Using QOS, information technology professionals can partner with their business colleagues to classify applications and provide for higher levels of priority to the most critical business applications. Performance improves because data is being smoothed out over network transport, and any bursts that could occur are reduced.