Enterprises today are growing the business by expanding their foot print with a retail branch or remote site network.
Several examples below fall into this category:
– An ATM or Service Branch for a Financial Bank
– Airport / Lounges / Cargo Networks for an Airline
– Retail Stores for Vertically Integrated Enterprises
– Remote Sites for MSPs, Services Organizations
Historically, branch networks provided a fixed set of services and standard application experience. Since the services and application experience was static, branch network setup and configuration was also static.
With the advent of BYOD trend and the demand for new set of network services, the next generation branch will be dynamic and requires more bandwidth. Traditional branch network where traffic is back hauled to the HQ via MPLS link will not be able to meet these new demands.
Numerous enterprise customers are considering moving to business internet for non-mission critical applications, while retaining or scaling down the MPLS line.
Some of the current branch network challenges include:
1.Sprawl: Distributed Enterprises including Managed Services Providers have numerous remote sites to manage. Hence, a centralized policy based approach to manage remote branches is required.
2.Rich set of Services: Services that enable rich application experience are required. This includes WAN optimization, Web security, Edge security, Policy based routing, Performance based routing etc.
3.Multi-vendor focus:Multi-vendor implementations are becoming more common in the branch deployments as well.
4.Real-time changes: Branch services are becoming more and more dynamic. A centralized real-time policy based provisioning is required.
5.Virtualization and Web Trend: Some of the branch functions are being implemented in virtual form factor and some are being hosted in the cloud. Current breed of script based tools do not have the flexibility to instantiate and chain virtual services.
6.Connectivity and Routing: Multiple VPN technologies are being used to connect the remote branch office to the HQ. In the presence of multiple egress options, a policy based and application performance based routing policy needs to be configured on the branch router to make effective use of the transport options.
Multitude of services, across various vendors, at scale and across geographies requires sophisticated yet simple to use orchestration software.
Anuta NCX provides a rich model driven policy framework where all branch network requirements can be defined as an abstract policy.
Anuta NCX orchestrates the following branch network functions:
1. VPN – DMVPN, L3 VPN, L2 VPN, FlexVPN
2. Wan Optimization
3. Web Security
4. Edge Security
5. Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing
6. Static and dynamic routing
7. Policy based routing
8. Performance based routing
9. Application visibility
NCX supports Server-Agent model, where agents can be scaled horizontally to address the scaling demands. NCX agents can be deployed in the cloud for remote management or on-premises.
Apart from the initial provisioning, NCX continuously monitors the branch network devices and takes corrective action. The solution allows the network admin to troubleshoot connectivity issues and collect important utilization data to plan capacity expansion.
NCX also simplifies modifications to existing network policy implementation. NCX enables the self-served networking so that the Line of Business (LOB) or Business Unit (BU), or Departments can make changes to their part of L2-L7 network policies such as adding new VLANs, enabling WAN optimization, introducing firewall rules etc. by themselves. This automation brings the cloud’s dynamism to enterprise networks providing significant agility and cost savings while ensuring greater customer satisfaction.
For more information, check out our NCX page.
– Praveen Vengalam, April 30th, 2014.