No, I’m not talking about schematics for the Hyperloop (although I’m pretty excited about flying through California in a suction pipe). I’m talking about an even more important network in today’s digitized world: the WAN.
Recent trends such as bring-your-own-device, mobility, and cloud computing have led to a surge in the number and types of devices connecting to the network. With these challenges, how can an enterprise manage demand for WAN bandwidth and fast, secure connectivity with a flat or decreasing operational budget? Read More »
Two weeks ago, a leading global medical device manufacturer came to Cisco for advice. In an effort to streamline IT operations and reduce operating costs, the customer had recently migrated from their internal Microsoft Exchange 2010 environment to Office365, Microsoft’s hosted online service.
The migration was initially done for the headquarter users and the feedback was more positive than they expected. However, when they migrated their branch and remote office users, the WAN bandwidth usage almost immediately spiked and user experience suffered as a result.
This customer is certainly not the only company looking to embrace Cloud applications for greater agility, reduced costs and complexity, and increased productivity. Or has had to deal with BYOD issues and the increasing impact of video has on their bandwidth. However, what our customer and those other companies have found is that the current method of backhauling the traffic to the data center is no longer a viable way to handle the increased consumption when faced with a flat or even a declining IT budget. Therefore, many of today’s distributed enterprises are looking to use direct Internet access pathways in an effort to improve the user experience while reducing IT costs.
However, enabling direct Internet access (DIA) at branch offices also forfeits the inherent threat protection that traffic routed through the data center provides. The enterprise-level risks that branch offices face with BYOD issues, compliance requirements, and advanced persistent threats require enterprise-level security. According to Gartner’s “Bring Branch Office Network Security Up to the Enterprise Standard”, “By 2016, 30% of advanced targeted threats — up from less than 5% today — will specifically target branch offices as an entry point.”
Ensuring application experience at the branch is a daunting task. IT must look beyond traditional WAN challenges (like bandwidth, transport type, and speed) to applications experience. As time-to-market becomes a pillar of enterprise’s competitive advantages, application experience is key to ensuring fast service and high customer satisfaction.
In today’s connected world, users demand instant connectivity and seamless experience. As the business innovates, the burden on the WAN intensifies, yet three-fourth (75%) of today enterprises say their bandwidth budget will remain flat. IT knows this, and they plan ahead. They evolve their network into a hybrid WAN (see Figure 1), utilize the latest technologies, but application performance still suffers. Why?
Our 2013 IT Impact Survey highlighted the importance of collaboration between business leaders and IT as trends like BYOD, data center consolidation and Cloud applications put more pressure on the network. Why collaborate? The survey highlighted that 34% of application roll outs over the prior 12 months were delayed because of not enough budget. You would think that if applications were a priority IT would be given sufficient budget to make sure the network was ready to handle the extra traffic. Unfortunately, according to Nemertes, most organizations’ WAN budgets will remain flat or decline in 2015, meaning that adding bandwidth is often not an option for IT. So how can you do more with less?
I really don’t envy the Cisco ISR team. It is really tough to be a leader and still out perform yourselves on a consistent basis. One could argue there is nowhere to go but down. I think is cool that TechWiseTV has been around long enough to chronicle the changes over time. Heck, many of our favorite engineers have been around the entire time as well..that gives us the unique ability to tell a story that can both respect and hopefully contrast the evolution in an appreciative way.
We recently had a chance to showcase the new ISR 4000 Series. ISR remains the acronym for this family as it stands in for ‘Integrated Services Router.’ I am sure we made this argument before, but one way to characterize this one is to see just how much the innovation swings towards the ‘I’ and the ’S’ these days. It makes sense. There is only so much one can do from a pure routing perspective, especially if you consider that speeds and feeds will grow naturally with the rest of the market and nobody pays the Cisco premium for just keeping up with the Joneses.