Now is the Time to Simplify Your Branch Network

Branch offices are becoming more complex. In industries such as finance, retail and manufacturing, these sites are evolving to offer a wide range of integrated services to keep pace with the expectations of employees and customers alike. Nemertes Research once estimated that 90 percent of all workers operated out of somewhere other than their respective companies’ headquarters, meaning that the delivery of reliable network services to branches ought to be a priority for just about all organizations.

The new normal for branch office requirements

Moreover, branch offices are often the front lines for customer-facing operations (e.g., tellering or consulting at a bank) and, by extension, revenue generation and retention. However, the shifting technical requirements at branch offices, especially when it comes to managing the current corporate WAN, have squeezed companies that already faced shortages of IT personnel at their remote and branch locations, putting branch office value in jeopardy.

The dearth of such on-site expertise has been a key driver of every trend from the growing uptake of public cloud computing services to the replacement of branch-by-branch PBX systems with cloud-based VoIP solutions. It also means that increasingly complicated WAN requirements, with the applications involved now situated not only on-premises but also in the cloud, are difficult to meet. Just think of what a branch office now needs to incorporate on the networking side:

  • IP network routing, which often ends up built on branch routers and error-prone, convoluted static routes.
  • Firewalling with Network Address Translation at each site, which requires labor-intensive initial configuration in addition to ongoing management.
  • VPN concentrators that are based on dedicated appliances or routers and as such are not scalable to many branch sites.
  • Reporting and orchestration functions, which may be scattered across branch offices and difficult to rely on during troubleshooting and capacity planning.
  • Better performance of LAN-centric applications, which are often major sources of latency when migrated¬†to WAN environments.

This list is not comprehensive, but it paints a picture of a considerable technical burden confronted in many cases by a bare-bones branch office staff without the wherewithal to bear it. Simplification is needed, and that is exactly what Adaptive Private Networking 5.2 and Aware 2.2 from Talari Networks were designed to provide.

Achieving branch simplification through APN 5.2 and Aware 2.2

The chief issue with network services at branch offices is their complexity, which makes them hard and costly to scale. Spread out across multiple devices from various vendors and requiring significant expertise just to be kept under control, these services would ideally be consolidated. APN 5.2 and Aware 2.2, which has been updated to support the APN 5.2 changes, makes such consolidation possible on a single virtual or physical appliance that can be centrally administered.

“The chief issue with network services at branch offices is their complexity.”

What do these two solutions bring together? Start with the core network and security functions we mentioned earlier, and add SD-WAN services such as real-time responsiveness to changing network conditions as well as support for multiple (i.e., MPLS, broadband internet, 4G LTE/cellular and satellite) types of links.

Support for leading third-party vendors also makes this consolidated platform highly extensible. The Talari Unite Technology Alliances Program brings together many technology providers to enhance the value and versatility of the Talari Networks solution over the long term.

But at a fine-grained technical level, what does APN 5.2 accomplish? Consider how it streamlines firewalling and NAT. From its consolidated common solution, it utilizes a zone-based firewall to support policy-based filtering across services and zones, in addition to both static and dynamic NAT. Plus, it works in tandem with the SD-WAN to enforce global security zones, which are network-aware and can be extended across the site, the WAN or even the internet depending on segmentation requirements.

Scalability for the future shape of branch offices

The combination of such technical finesse with the flexibility of an SD-WAN makes it easier than ever to standardize the delivery of network services between disparate branch offices. Wrangling with tons of different appliances and isolated network functions can be made into a thing of the past.

Ready to get started? Contact Talari Networks today to find out more about what APN 5.2 can do for you, visit www.talari.com/solutions to learn more, and be sure to request a custom demo of an SD-WAN solution.

Categories: IT Challenges, Network Reliability, Business Agility


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