Turning Data Connectivity Into Business Enablers

Aman deep Singh Dang October 11, 2007 11:40:03 IST
Turning Data Connectivity Into Business Enablers

Turning Data Connectivity Into Business EnablersToday’s Communication networks have evolved from simple data connectivity architectures to business enablers supporting mission critical applications and processes. With increased need to share and consolidate information across Intranets to Extranets, the dependency on advanced communication infrastructures augments. With progressing times, lower cost of ownership and the simplicity of operations are becoming more and more critical for businesses to sustain.

Functional Consolidation concepts revolve around building next generation elements which offer more functionality per equipment than traditional elements at no performance penalty. Branch-in-a-box is an extrapolation of the said concept which aims to consolidate disparate communication elements in a branch office onto one functional appliance.

Branch-in-a-Box infrastructure consolidates various traditional branch office networking elements like routing, switching, HTTP/SMTP proxies, firewalls, Data encryptors, VPN concentrators, as well as VoIP gateways into one single functional hardware element, streamlining operations, reducing cost of ownership and easing solution maintenance.

Application Overview

As more and more business applications are deployed as client-sever architecture, there is a transition in terms of service expectations from customers. Today’s demands are business availability rather than infrastructure availability. With mission critical applications driving businesses today, extreme infrastructure availability expectations are not unreasonable. The challenge the market faces today is to keep pace with the customers growing availability demands while still offering services competently.

With branches engineered to distribute elements and dedicated appliances to do routing, switching, fire-walling, encryption etc., the number of failure points increases subsequently at every extra distributed element integrated in the setup. As businesses link beyond their corporate to connect to their value chains expanding beyond geographical boundaries, networks spread to have a wide area of coverage with multiple branch offices connected through various media consolidating services at the central or corporate office. With each branch having different individual devices, it becomes challenging to manage, needless to mention the cost of implementation and support increases.

Branch-in-a-box limits the number of communication elements per branch to just one, thereby limiting the suspected failure elements to unity. Moreover, with these appliances consolidating communication functions, it becomes easy to port more and more value-driven features which aid the manageability or availability of the appliances contributing significantly to the overall benefits.

Business Proposition

As newer business avenues emerge, branch-in-a-box will find seeming applications across all market sectors, and the ones showing the most promise are Banking Finance & Insurance sectors, Travel Operations, Hospitality service reservation sectors, Manufacturing and Retail value-chain systems.

Business advantages to roll out in the due course of time will include ease of maintenance, high service availability, IP service consolidation, flexible connectivity media choice and Business Intelligence will trigger mass acceptance of Branch-in-a-box paving the way for the next level of technological evolution.

Aman deep Singh Dang is head, Internet Business Solutions - Asia Pacific, Allied Telesyn

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