Office 365: What’s your network deployment architecture?

I recently gave a webinar on how to best architect your network for Office 365. It comes on the heels of a number of complaints from customers around their struggles deploying responsive Office 365 implementations. SharePoint doesn’t quite work; Skype calls are unclear. And forget about OneDrive for Business. It’s incredibly slow.

Latency and Office 365

Ensuring a smooth transition to Office 365, or for that matter any cloud deployment, involves a solid understanding of which Office 365 applications are being deployed. Here latency matters. Microsoft recommends that round trip latency for Office 365 does not exceed 275 ms, but those metrics change significantly depending on the Office 365 application. Latency should not exceeds 50ms with Exchange Online and 25ms with SharePoint. (Check out my “ultimate” list of Office 365 networking tools for help with your O365 deployment.)

One customer’s experience particularly stuck out for me as it typifies the challenges many enterprises face when deploying Office 365. The company’s office in Poland had purchased Office 365 licenses, which were accessing an instance in the Microsoft’s Netherlands datacenter. Despite the relatively short distance from Poland to the Netherlands, the company experienced painfully long data transfers to and from SharePoint Online. We’re talking minutes to move just 10 MB files.

As part of the customer engagement, we examined their routing policies. The company was backhauling Internet traffic across their MPLS network to an exit point in the US. The traffic then traveled back across the Internet to reach their Office 365 instance in the Netherlands. No wonder they were having latency issues.

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