Optimizing Branch-Office Network Infrastructure Total Cost of Ownership with Cisco Integrated Services Routers
By Cisco Systems
Published March 2007; Posted May 2007


The world has evolved into a global village. Businesses see the need to establish their presence in strategically important areas and gain from unique partnering and customer opportunities. According to various industry sources, the branch-office users comprise 30 to 90 percent of enterprise employees globally, with remote locations and users consuming 70 to 90 percent of business resources. To be successful, these employees require access to the same applications, systems, and tools as employees located at a corporate headquarters.

Advances in technology are changing business policy, which is in turn driving changes in branch-office network infrastructure. Business continuity is accelerating resource centralization, with more and more critical assets moving into the enterprise headquarters and data center. This situation is having a ripple effect on branch and remote offices. To meet regulatory compliance and cost-control requirements, many organizations are optimizing resources and reducing complexity in the branch office.

Although centralizing branch resources and increasing access brings great benefits, it can also pose security, latency, and performance challenges. Optimal business productivity is achieved only when the same level of services is available in the branch office as in the corporate headquarters. Branch-office networks need to be secure, available, remotely manageable, and extensible-and they must deliver application performance and quality of experience that is as good as in the main offices.

Although the benefits of technological advancements and policy compliance are fairly tangible, the costs and complexity of owning and operating a full-service branch are difficult to predict. Does the existing equipment have enough headroom to support branch-office growth needs? What are the complexities in introducing a new application in the branch office? Is there a significant cost and learning curve to implement a new solution?


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