What is a Wide Area Network (WAN)?

A wide area network, or WAN, connects individual machines or local area networks (LANs) over a long distance. WANs are typically used to connect multiple business locations.

Wide area network definition

A network can be considered to be a wide area network if computers or LANs are connected over a distance of half a mile or more. WANs have traditionally been run over leased, private lines, but can now be fully or partially cloud-based.

Why use a WAN?

WANs allow companies to centralize or outsource IT infrastructure rather than house servers at every business location. Even in the age of cloud computing, WANs are still a very important part of the IT strategy for most businesses, largely because they and increase the performance of business-critical applications, cutting downtime and increasing productivity. Software-defined WANs (SD-WANs) take this even further by automatically balancing workloads to maximize cost-efficiencies while optimizing applications and traffic across multiple uplinks.

HPE WAN products and services

HPE delivers solutions extending across WAN, LAN, and WLAN. In this role, HPE extends contextual awareness with the Aruba Mobile First Platform. Customers can deploy highly scalable networks with Aruba AirWave, and manage user-centric policy with Aruba ClearPass that has immense implications for the WAN.

Data availability, protection and retention

Data availability, protection and retention

Safeguard your investments, reduce your risk, and assure business productivity with simple, cost-effective solutions.

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Networking gateways

Networking gateways

Deploy Mobility Controllers as Branch and Campus Gateways for simplified network operations.

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Networking routers

Networking routers

Have consistent connections with reliable, multi-serve, robust-routing from core to edge.

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Mobility solutions

Mobility solutions

Maximize productivity with end-to-end mobility solutions to help you connect employees, devices, and processes.

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Let’s talk

Speak with an HPE expert about how our wide area networks can help address your business challenges.

Resources for wide area network

White Paper : Accelerate network service orchestration

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White Paper

HPE Intelligent Management Center (IMC) is a flexible management solution to improve network availability and reliability.

Solution Brief : Branch Wi-Fi in an instant: Discover Aruba Instant

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Solution Brief

Aruba Instant delivers the only controllerless Wi-Fi solution that is easy to set-up, and loaded with security and smarts.