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Networks bring out the best in far-flung offices

July 25, 2018

Networking today is hardly a single-function issue, but it entails a host of security, optimization, and manageability issues.

There’s growing support for empowering remote office, branch, and satellite locations that are closer to customers, partners, and markets. But, for the most part, decision-making for network needs across the distributed enterprise is still centralized.

Computing resources are being decentralized from hub data centers, spreading across cloud services and out to the network edge. It’s not surprising, then, that a recent survey finds that more than 71% of the IT decision-makers who responded said they are enhancing remote IT support to ensure operational excellence and to support an excellent employee experience at non-HQ locations. But 88% indicated that that decision-making happens back at HQ.

Many are opting for software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) solutions, making the centralization/decentralization issue as topical as ever.

There are 40 other SD-WAN appliance vendors in the market currently, and with IDC predicting an almost 70% compound annual growth rate, leading to an $8 billion market in 2021, there are probably many more on the way. Businesses need to ask themselves whether point solution vendors can meet their implementation and ongoing support needs. Networking today is hardly a single-function issue, but it entails a host of security, optimization, and manageability issues.

As noted network industry analyst Tom Nolle points out, "The SD-WAN market is in a state of transition, with some products designed for direct deployment by users and others for cooperative use within a carrier network. If you aren’t careful with the network-to-SD-WAN relationship, you could end up with something that just won’t work at all.”

For more insights into network issues of remote, branch, and satellite locations, read Outside HQ: Meeting The Bandwidth Challenge white paper.

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