Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Hubs, Spokes and WANs

Recently, we've had a number of discussions with enterprises about how they'd like to use the cloud.

The basic use case is around capacity on-demand (not surprisingly), but the specifics have raised some interesting issues. The companies have distributed branch offices that need the capacity for a range of applications, including dev/test environments as well as back-office and web apps. Today, these distributed groups are relying on corporate IT to meet their scaling and infrastructure needs, and they are frequently bottlenecked.

This is both in terms of overall challenges in getting new capacity approved in a timely way, but also from a network bandwidth perspective. At a panel this week at Interop, Riverbed noted that 2/3 of their enterprise customers have a hub and spoke model that requires the "spokes" to backhaul to the "hub" for connectivity to the internet, and thus to cloud computing services.

Only the remaining 1/3 have direct connections. At the same panel, Blue Coat agreed with the stats but commented that the branch sites are trending towards a direct-connect model as new sites are added.

As Expand Networks are able to provide a complete holistic VM based solution at both branch offices and head quarters, the TCO can be significantly lower than appliance beased solutions so check them out also.

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