Cure for Branch Office Blues

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Cure for Branch Office Blues: Smart Consolidation, WAN Improvements

Issue Summary

Channel partners can help customers save money, protect data and improve availability by updating their remote office/branch office (ROBO) infrastructures. But efficient, centralized data centers are only half the equation, and opportunity. A modern consolidation strategy also hinges on proper WAN design and choosing the right optimization technology to keep remote workers productive when their mission-critical applications and data are a time zone away. Inadequately provision remote employees, and they can turn into unproductive second-class citizens.

Takeaways for Your Business

  • Updating and hardening WAN links can eliminate performance bottlenecks and network downtime.
  • Optimizing WAN traffic increases the network’s usable capacity, performance and reliability.
  • Provisioning ROBO locations requires the proper hardware for accessing remote data, plus centralized data storage.

About the Author

Kurt Marko is an IT industry analyst, consultant and regular contributor to a number of technology publications, pursuing his passion for communications after a varied career that has spanned virtually the entire high-tech food chain from chips to systems. Upon graduating from Stanford University with bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering, Marko spent several years as a semiconductor device physicist, doing process design, modeling and testing. He then joined AT&T Bell Laboratories as a memory chip designer and CAD and simulation developer. Moving to Hewlett-Packard, he started in the laser printer R&D lab doing electrophotography development, for which he earned a patent, but his love of computers eventually led him to join HP’s nascent technical IT group. Marko spent 15 years as an IT engineer and was a lead architect for several enterprisewide infrastructure projects at HP, including the Windows domain infrastructure, remote access service, Exchange email infrastructure and managed Web services.