Why do my WAN links slow down?

WAN links have been around for many years and they continue to be one of the most critical parts of any IT infrastructure. When I first started my career as a network engineer in the nineties, link speeds of 32Kbps were not uncommon. Thankfully we have moved on from this and link speeds of 10Mbps+ are not uncommon today. However, for most networks, bandwidth on WAN links is still limited, due mostly to the expense of upgrading to higher link speeds. In today’s world there are lots of demands for more bandwidth as more and more services are centralized to main data centres. Couple this with VoIP and Internet services and the result can be that WAN links get overloaded very frequently. Often, the first indicator of a problem is when end users start complaining that their applications are slow or are crashing out. There can be a number of reasons behind why this is happening. Here are my top six pieces of advice.

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