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.
Today, at Interop in New York, we are introducing to our customers and partners four new platforms that extend what we started with the award winning architecture of the Cisco ISR 4451 into a complete family of Cisco 4000 Series of Integrated Services Routers (ISRs) designed and priced for all branch offices sizes and needs. The full family represents the greatest advancement in branch routing technology in the past ten years and promises to help IT deliver an uncompromised application experience for any user over any connection, with reliability and security.
With today’s announcement every branch of every size can benefit from the ISR 4000 Series architecture. We are excited to help IT deliver new services and improve application experience at the same time as streamlining branch infrastructure and reducing management and WAN costs. The five models that make up the family are the ISR 4451, 4431, 4351, 4331, and 4321. With this simplified portfolio (5 models vs 10 in ISR G2), we will cover WAN needs from 50Mbps all the way up to 2Gbps all with rich network services and a common management platform.
Over 1,200 customers have already adopted this new branch architecture to help meet next-generation demands like mobility and cloud. One of these customers is a large school district in the United States digitizing education with tools like eLearning, eBooks, and HD video. These initiatives could saturate bandwidth and potentially ruin the ability of students to download books while others watch live video or download OS updates. By deploying the ISR 4451 the school district was able to use our Akamai Connect capability to cache eBooks locally, off-loading enormous traffic from the WAN since the each eBook was now stored locally! Leveraging the ISR 4000 has helped the school district move forward with a truly digital learning experience. Read More »