Earlier this year, we significantly expanded our line of MX Cloud Managed Security Appliances. Among the new features we added, WAN optimization helps reduce bandwidth costs by optimizing WAN links between remote sites. Today, The Tolly Group released their report benchmarking Meraki’s WAN optimization performance. In their testing, The Tolly Group found that the MX’s WAN optimization:

  • improves FTP performance by up to 209X
  • improves HTTP performance by up to 45X
  • improves Windows file sharing performance by up to 16X

The full Tolly Group report is available for download from our web site.

Configuring WAN optimization on the MX couldn’t be easier: all it takes is a single click to enable it. You’ll find this in the Configure > VPN page.

Figure 1: WAN optimization configuration

After that, the MXs that are part of the site-to-site VPN network will accelerate the FTP, HTTP, Windows file sharing (CIFS/SMB) and TCP-based traffic between them. There’s no additional cost to roll this out, and WAN optimization is available on the MX for customers with both the Enterprise and Advanced Security licenses.

Here’s a look at the WAN optimization of traffic between Meraki’s branches and San Francisco headquarters. At the time of this snapshot, the amount of data transfered across the WAN was reduced by 95.2%.

Figure 2: WAN optimization and bandwidth reduction

WAN optimization is available on all MX Cloud Managed Security Appliances. The MX80, MX90, and MX400 include a 1 TB hard drive for local caching, and the MX600 includes a 4 TB (RAID) drive. The MX60 doesn’t include an internal hard drive, but it still benefits from WAN optimization’s compression and protocol optimization.

By using WAN optimization technology built in to the Meraki MX, administrators can dramatically reduce bandwidth costs and accelerate application performance for traffic that flows between sites of a distributed network. Slow, high latency WAN links that connect branches can be accelerated, making the WAN feel like the LAN for users at remote sites.