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#IWANWed: Harness the Power of Web Within the Enterprise Branch

Cloud Web Security AAG ImageIn the ever-changing world of enterprise branch environments, a high number of businesses are planning to migrate their WAN to the Internet. To be exact, Nemertes Research (Benchmark 2012–13 Emerging WAN Trends) estimates that number to be close to 50%.  That’s 50% of businesses migrating to Internet for WAN.

And why is that happening? Enterprises are trying to optimize their WAN to increase ROI. Internet has become a much more stable platform, offering significant price-to-performance gains. Thus, the growth of new cloud traffic, high bandwidth applications, and video can be easily load balanced across multiple WAN lines, one of which or both can be Internet links. Some of the enterprises go even further and enable local Internet breakout from the branch. Not only does it eliminate the need to unnecessarily backhaul the traffic to the corporate HQ or data center, but also helps to free up the precious WAN bandwidth for critical business related applications. This enables enterprises to provide guest Internet access within the branch and then slowly offer the same services to corporate users, both for trusted public clouds applications and general Internet access. Read More »

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IWAN Wed: LiveAction 4.0 True Scalability at Any Scale

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.57.54 PMLiveAction 4.0, shipped in late June 2014, brings increased scalability to enable users the ability to see thousands of devices across their entire network on a single pane of glass. It provides centralized visibility and management enhancements while leveraging the intuitive user interface and robust troubleshooting capabilities that LiveAction has become known for.

Through a highly expandable architecture, LiveAction 4.0 provides a consolidated view for the entire network bringing central management and coordination of nodes, distributed analytics management and device interaction and configuration. This allows network administrators to easily troubleshoot and resolve performance issues in networks with multiple data centers and geographically dispersed branch offices.

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IWAN Wed: Say “Yes” and “Now” with Akamai Connect

Cisco and Akamai ConnectHas this happened to you? The line of business comes to you one day and says they have this great new idea to train the sales teams.  “Let’s use YouTube videos”, they say.  Or the CMO comes to you and says, “digital signage will increase our revenue if we can promote this next new line of products that is about to launch”.  Or “This new cloud application looks great and it will increase employee productivity!”

But all you could say was ‘no, that’s not possible’.  Not because you didn’t want to enable each of these groups but because 1) you are short of resources or 2) budget is tight or 3) the infrastructure just isn’t ready yet.  Any or all of the above?

With 80% of the workforce in a non-HQ location, enabling these digital services is daunting to IT.  What happens to other business critical applications if the WAN is flooded with YouTube videos?  Digital Signage is a great idea, sure, but how do I distribute those HD videos or images to the stores?  Cloud applications may seem like not much as a user but what happens if all my users are accessing the cloud at the same time? Read More »

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Bandwidth Alone Will Not Solve Branch Application Performance

Mark Lohmeyer CLUS 2014For years, many IT organizations have been addressing slow application performance by adding more bandwidth. With broadband speeds available at over 100 Mbps, and the future of Fiber-optic at 1 Gbps, you would think bandwidth would solve all our application problems. However, many organizations are quickly learning that bandwidth on its own is not the answer, especially when it comes to the branch office.

So what is the problem? While connections are getting faster, branch offices still need high reliability. We all know downtime can be very costly. The Aberdeen group estimates that downtime can cost a company, on average, over $160,000 per hour.  And, some hours are more costly than others. For example, if your CEO is talking to shareholders during an earnings call and the network goes out – I would imagine that would cost someone their job.

There are several factors to consider on why “throwing bandwidth at the problem” is not enough. First, let’s consider the impact of data center virtualization. Over the past decade, organizations have been consolidating applications to their data centers. While IT has benefitted from cost savings, applications have moved further away from users. This has resulted in a delay in application response times, which is felt strongest by branch users. Read More »

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IWAN Wed: The Case for Direct Internet Breakout at Branch and IWAN

Simplify Branch Security with ISRCloud services and SaaS applications is enabling customers to accelerate their business processes and improve employee productivity while lowering their total IT spending. The Cisco IWAN solution is helping organizations adopt cloud applications with an improved user experience by enabling local internet breakout from the branch environment, thus helping eliminate the need to backhaul internet-bound traffic across the WAN link. This helps provide the user improved experience through lower latency for not only internet applications, but also free up bandwidth for application on the WAN link. The reduced WAN link usage also means lower IT spending those links.

However, a study commissioned by Cisco during Jan’14 from 641 customers from US and Europe on their MPLS usage and adoption of local internet breakout found that 68% of the customers responded that enabling direct internet access was an organizational focus for them.  However, 54% of the total respondents reported that lack of sufficient security at the branch environment hindered them from enabling local internet breakout at the branch. This was ranked as the #1 reason to not enable Direct Internet Access at branch sites.

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