Are your WAN services, including WAN Optimization, delivered as a part of a comprehensive plan? These days with the need to reduce costs it’s a good time to rethink how you are serving your branch office IT needs. With advances in technology you can do things in new ways. You might find that you can reduce your branch office infrastructure and deliver better services to your branch office workers. There are a few things to consider. Are your branch office routers capable of delivering a suite of services including security? Are you taking advantage of unified communications? Are you supporting increasing use of Video? Are you able to ensure application performance? There are plenty of reasons to rethink your WAN strategy. If your organization is global then your people need to collaborate across greater distances but if you are consolidating branch office servers and data centers they are further than ever from the applications that they use, especially if you have increasing numbers of mobile and home workers. Security is an increasing concern with so many new applications and services being used bringing increasing numbers of exploits. Service delivery can be impacted by inconsistent WAN topologies that were developed over time and don’t take increasing end user traffic in to account. All of these challenges mean that productivity can be impacted unless a consistent plan is executed on.
A good plan for WAN services will align your IT infrastructure with the needs of the business. It will reduce management complexity while improving the user experience for a wide range of applications and services for users who are connecting from remote locations over a range of connection speeds. To achieve these goals a good WAN design should be built on guiding principals. Your plan should consider routers that utilize consistent capabilities between the branch office and the WAN aggregation point. It should utilize a common protocol while ensuring availability and eliminating the bottlenecks that can result from using an outmoded WAN design. A good WAN design should meet your scalability requirements and keep your vital company data secure. Maybe now is the time to consider if your WAN delivery plan is up to the task. For a deeper look at how to get the WAN Advantage for your branch office see this report by industry consultant Nick Lippis: WAN Advantage: New Thinking in Branch Office and WAN Edge Design plus Services