News writer Jessica Scarpati asks these questions: Is remote wireless access for teleworkers simpler and safer, and does wireless remote access give WAN engineers more control?
Another question explored in SearchEnterpriseWAN.com’s WAN security and performance tutorial is “how do I maintain a secure connection to my remote office without bogging down network speed?”
As with any form of security you want to implement, the answer depends on your remote office infrastructure and must be sensitive to your particular business processes, which is why we break up one section of the tutorial into connection types:
Looking at these resources and answering those questions now will help you manage the increased load of branch office connections you will surely have in coming years. If you have questions about your remote offices now, don’t hesitate to ask our experts.]]>
Egyptian government is one cry short of a miliatry coup. Anyone listening to or watching live news right now knows that Hosni Mubarak may step down tonight from Egyptian power (if he takes 8-year-old Saudi girl JuJu’s advice). As hundreds of thousands fill Tahrir Square awaiting his speech, the country is put on hold.
How does such an event impact businesses? News reporter Jessica Scarpati spoke to Ernest Ostro, who was in Cairo the day protests started. As director of information services at Pathfinder, a global nonprofit providng reproductive health services, it was his mission to set up a branch office for his company. As timing would have it, the Egyptian government ordered Internet service providers (ISPs) and mobile carriers to shut down Web access across the country. This not only prevented protesters from posting to Facebook and Twitter, but it kept Ostro from setting up a remote office for Pathfinder’s wide area network (WAN); businesses were put on hold.
“When Egypt [got] completely cut, there [wasn't] really any alternative for where we could reroute traffic,” Ostro said.
Ostro isn’t the only person to have world-changing events affect his business. Unfortunately for WAN managers, CEOs and chief financial officers typically favor cheap land and labor in developing countries and fail to consider how problems such as civil unrest or limited broadband availability challenge WAN connectivity. Such wide area network outages can contribute to financial bottom lines, and companies who can’t afford an outage should consider a WAN disaster recovery plan.
Before you turn to our engineer’s guide to a wide area network disaster recovery plan, companies should also consider whether the costs of creating backup links outweigh the soft and hard costs of an outage.
Organizations that don’t offer transaction services, like banks and credit card companies, will probably say “If we lose communications because of social disorder like Egypt, we’ll tell our people not to come to work anyway,’” explains CIMI Corp president Tom Nolle.
But if your businesses is already running operations in areas subject to political unrest, Ray Barber, senior executive and consultant at decision/analysis partners LLC, recommends this: If WAN managers have any choice about where a new branch is constructed, they should make sure that the new location is not in a risky spot, like a police station, where being nearby would cause your corporation to be collateral damage.
Read the three other pieces of Barber’s advice in SearchEnterpriseWAN.com’s article: Developing a wide area network disaster recovery plan for civil unrest.]]>
Things are just as tough outside the U.S., although the picture is a tad brighter in Asia-Pacific countries (including Japan), which had experienced a 21% yearly growth until declining to 13.3% this year. They still chalked up revenues of US$279.6 million, according to our friends at Frost & Sullivan. The market researcher expects growth to rocket to 22.2% next year and hit US$831.6 million by 2015.*
Not surprisingly, larger corporations are responsible for most WAN optimization purchases, since they have more available cash than small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and are seeing an increasing demand for WAN speed and access from regional and branch offices. These large companies accounted for about 61% of the overall sales in Asia-Pacific regions last year, according to Frost & Sullivan. WAN acceleration helps these companies cope with varying bandwidth speeds and provide equal and reliable access to corporate data resources across country boundaries, a Frost researcher noted.
We couldn’t agree with him more, since all of the vendors and companies we talk to that have divisions based outside the U.S. or are themselves headquartered in the hinterlands tell us that customers are screaming for faster access across the Web, especially as cloud computing rolls in and software as a service (SaaS) becomes the norm.
One of these companies is SAP AG, which is a heavyweight when it comes to advanced ERP and CRM applications but a relative newbie in terms of WAN optimization. Executives there have been fielding a lot of comments from customers about access to their core set of applications, most of them having to do with access and acceleration. SAP listened carefully and then took quick action by launching its own WAN optimization initiative last year. The strategies behind this move, as well as details on SAP’s WAN optimization plans in general, are detailed in an interview with the company’s new WAN optimization chief, Jana Richter.
“We have a lot of customers who are seeing an increasing amount of traffic and are at the point where they need to buy more bandwidth — which can be quite costly in certain regions,” Richter pointed out. “Or they have to set up local servers for certain tasks, just because the applications are not performing well over long distances.”
SAP expects to see a lot more business from SMBs, which seems to mirror some of the research just now coming out concerning activities in this market segment. The numbers of SMBs worldwide is expected to reach the 330 million mark by 2014, with the 98% of these that employ 100 people or fewer outside the U.S. accounting for close to 90% of all business, ABI Research said. All of these companies are ripe for wireless, a fact that you would have been aware of long ago if you subscribed to the SearchEnterpriseWAN Twitter feed.
* Frost & Sullivan’s 2009 Asia-Pacific WAN Optimization Controller Market report.]]>