Find Serenity with A Talari Branch Office Simplification Solution


The branch office infrastructure is undergoing a major change that is the result of the emergence of cloud-based applications and new WAN architectures that leverage Internet links to support branch office connectivity. Both of these factors, as well as financial and performance requirements, are driving enterprises to deploy incremental services in the branch. This branch service proliferation can have a major impact on how an organization designs their next generation branch infrastructure. Insights into this topic, as well as a discussion of the specific challenges faced, will be addressed here. We will also share some of the options that IT has available to deliver the services required to meet user’s expectations, corporate compliance and budget limitations.

The branch services that are the focus of this discussion include core services such as routing, WAN Optimization, data segmentation (VRFs) and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). In addition, enterprises are expressing an interest in a new set of services that includes Firewall, Network Address Translation (NAT), VPN and SD-WAN.

There are several challenges being introduced by Internet connectivity and cloud-based applications that require the deployment of these new services in the branch:

#1) Unable to deliver a business-class Internet WAN – Recent market surveys and analyst reports have a clear and universal trend – enterprises are incorporating Internet connectivity into their WAN architectures at a growing rate. Internet connectivity, which was initially leveraged as a cost-effective backup mechanism for MPLS circuits, is moving into a more active and critical role when it comes to supporting branch office connectivity. Part of the reason for the increase in internet link usage is it offers a lower price for bandwidth and typically faster deployment times when compared to traditional MPLS. But the use of internet links raises many concerns that usually revolve around end-to-end QoS, high availability and security that IT organizations do not traditionally question or already have established methods to address with MPLS. This is where the addition of an SD-WAN solution can help. SD-WAN solutions typically focus on taking hybrid or internet-only WANs and transforming them into highly reliable, secure networks that support business critical applications.

#2) Unsecured access to Internet resources – By having one or more Internet links available, IT organizations have new choices and considerations when it comes delivering cloud or Internet-based applications. The traditional model of back-hauling traffic to a data center for centrally managed services processing, while viable, requires that organizations pay twice for internet traffic for internet destined traffic to get processes; once to send the traffic from the branch to the data center and a second time when the traffic is forwarded from the data center to the internet. The cost is not just in bandwidth; it also includes an increase in application or service response time (i.e. delay) which can impact user satisfaction. An emerging second choice is to go straight to the internet from the branch for services and applications. With this approach, branch locations will not have the performance and cost penalty that a backhaul solution incurs. The challenge with this option is that it will require the branch deployment of Firewall and VPN services to protect the site and deliver secure connectivity to cloud or Internet resources, which will increase service sprawl and provisioning complexity, especially if you have a large number of remote locations.

#3) High solution cost – Another problem is that the branch office infrastructures cost too much. With incremental services being leveraged, often through new hardware or virtual appliances being deployed, increased costs are introduced. Also, relying on incumbent vendors will usually mean paying a premium price to deliver the required services. The fix for these issues is to have a right-sized branch device that delivers the required subset of service components at a budget friendly price.

#4) Limited onsite technical support – With all these services and devices being deployed and managed, it can be very difficult to support initial deployment and ongoing maintenance, since the level of onsite technical expertise ranges from very limited to none. An easy to deploy and centrally managed solution if fundamental to mitigate this challenge.

When all is said and done, you can easily have over five services deployed from three or more vendors in your branch, with no onsite support, which results in the device sprawl, integration, management and cost issues just discussed.

Now that we have touched on the challenges let’s review a good solution to this problem – A Talari branch office simplification solution.

A Talari solution can help with these issues by consolidating multiple core functions into an easy to deploy, virtual or physical appliance which is administered from a central location. The solution is extensible and works with leading 3rd party vendors, like Palo Alto Networks, to deliver the services your applications require in any location. With the release of Talari Adaptive Private Networking Software 5.2, Talari now delivers Firewall, NAT and DHCP services on all shipping appliances. These new services join existing support for SD-WAN, routing OSPF and BGP, VRFs and end-to-end WAN QoS that Talari appliances already support.

What are the benefits of a Talari branch office simplification solution?

Effortless deployment and management – Deploying a Talari appliance in the branch is fast and simple. In just 3 short steps, IT organizations can have a Talari appliance online and in production with all administration and reporting taking place from a centrally managed controller. With this approach, Talari allows organizations to minimize the amount of IT expertise required at the branch while offering a scalable model to support deployments that include a large number of branch offices.

Lower complexity with device consolidation – More than just an SD-WAN device, Talari appliances have evolved to support popular functions such as Firewall, NAT, Routing, VRFs, VPN Concentrator, DHCP, and IPsec termination. Instead of taking the traditional approach of having a combination of physical or virtual devices from a variety of vendors to support these functions, you can now deploy one Talari appliance and reduce device sprawl, simplify deployment, ease on-going support and lower costs.

Scalable and easy service chaining – A service chain consists of a set of network services, such as firewalls, NAT, routers and VPN concentrators that are interconnected through the network to support an application. In the past, building a service chain to support a new application took a great deal of time and effort since it meant acquiring specialized, individually configured network devices and cabling them together in the required services sequence. A Talari branch office simplification solution can make the service chain and application provisioning process a whole lot shorter and simpler. With services offered on a single appliance – with a common management interface – service chaining with Talari is easy. Beyond the chaining of services with a Talari appliance, integration of 3rd party services is supported with validated solutions.

Would you like to learn more about how Talari can help you simplify your branch while meeting user quality of experience expectations and business budget targets? Contact us or visit our branch office simplification solution site for more details.

Categories: IT Challenges, Business Continuity