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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: Is FIFA supported on the ISR?

Food for thought

The other day, I went to the café to grab my lunch and notice something that got me thinking of an IT problem we’re going to see more and more.

I’m not a soccer sport fan but of course I am aware of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ event that is happening.

Anyways, I saw a guy watching a live stream of the game between Iran and Nigeria on his mobile device and it got me thinking “I wonder how much bandwidth this thing is taking?”

All major sports event like the Superbowl, World Cup, NBA Finals, PGA tour, Olympics, etc. are streaming LIVE games and many people around the globe are watching the World Cup during business hours as its always 9 to 5 somewhere. Read More »

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IWAN Wed: Intelligent WAN @ Cisco Live!

The long awaited Cisco Live in San Francisco is only four days away.  There is a lot in store for our customers including hundreds of technical sessions, keynotes from executives and industry guests, product and solutions demos at World of Solutions and more.

One of the most important topics, in my opinion, that I believe you should tune into is on Intelligent WAN.  As you come to Cisco Live and are exploring Cisco Intelligent WANvarious technologies that will help your organization scale and grow for the next 3-5 years, what element is most crucial?  How about the branches and stores throughout the city, country or world that is growing rapidly, not just in terms of sheer count but also by size?  The number of employees working there is growing; the number of customer engagements is increasing; and the number and type of users are exploding.  You need an intelligent WAN that can adjust to the demand, meet the high user expectations and be the foundation of innovation needed at the branch.

To learn more about Cisco Intelligent WAN, please join us for the following activities.  We would love to hear your feedback on how Intelligent WAN can help your business and IT organization. Read More »

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Unlock the Hidden Capabilities Your Cisco Integrated Services Routers

If you have a Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR) in your branch – which most companies do – you won’t want to miss the April 23rdwebinar on hidden capabilities of the ISR.

These routers are the Swiss army knife of networking, and come loaded with so many features that it is almost impossible to know all of them. I cannot count the number of times I found myself saying “wow, I didn’t even know that the ISR can do that.” This is because IOS is a very mature operating system with about 30 years of customer experience and feature enhancements. I don’t think that there is any other company in the world that can say that they have 30 years of customer experience in this field.

Routing has evolved tremendously over those years. We’ve moved from access routing to full integrated services to an all-in-one converged branch solution. Our leadership in this space was recognized just two weeks ago, when a new Cisco routing solution won the Best of Interop for Networking. Read More »

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IWAN Wed: Securing Your Transport Independence with DMVPN

In my last blog I talked about the value of Pfr to the IWAN solution. This week I wanted to talk about DMVPN and why it is going to be a critical component of your IWAN deployment.

Your IWAN topology will most likely consist of one or more internet connections which means that your data will be traveling over untrusted connections and shared environments so security is going to be top of mind. So how do you secure your data over the internet and other untrusted or shared environments? Well DMVPN (Dynamic Multi-point Virtual Private Network) is based on VPN the same technology that many of you use today to securely connect back to your office when you are traveling or working from home. A VPN will create a tunnel between two end-points and then encrypt all data traveling over the tunnel. VPN’s can connect users to a remote site, client-to-site VPN, or connect two remote sites, site-to-site VPN. Unlike VPN, DMVPN can securely connect multiple points together dynamically.

DMVPNSo how does DMVPN work and what is the benefit to IWAN?  DMVPN works on top of your WAN infrastructure which means that DMVPN tunnels will be established between branch sites as traffic flow demands. In a common hub and spoke topology example, when data needs to be sent from the spoke to the hub site, the spoke will establish a VPN tunnel to the hub by registering first with the hub.  In order for each tunnel to function a new dynamic IP address is created at the branch since the hub site will initiate the connection. In order for data to be routed between sites over the DMVPN tunnels, routing information will need to be exchanged. As more tunnels are created there will be more dynamically created IP addresses and traditional routing protocols like BGP or EIGRP are used to efficiently share routing information so all sites can talk to each other. Lastly QoS is applied to each tunnel to ensure that the hub site does not oversubscribe the spoke sites.

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