Traditional networks handled static web pages, e-mail, and routine client/server traffic. Today, enterprise networks must handle more sophisticated types of network applications that include voice and video. Examples include voice transport, videoconferencing, online training, and audio and video broadcasts. Applications place increasing demands on IT infrastructures as they evolve into highly visible services that represent the face of the business to internal and external audiences.
The large amount and variety of data requires that the modern network be application-aware—in other words, be aware of the content carried across it to optimally handle that content. It is no longer enough simply to add more bandwidth as needs grow. Networks have had to become smarter. A new role is emerging for the network as a provider of application infrastructure services that extend the value of applications, either by improving delivery of content to users and other applications or by offloading infrastructure functions that today burden development and operations teams. Application Networking Services (ANS) provide this intelligence.
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