Consolidating remote offices


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The ROBO security management issues users are concerned with are centralized user-access controls and directory services for server environments, application-based security, encryption for WAN appliances and routers, and local disk-encryption techniques for remotely located servers and storage.

There are various techniques to reduce the amount of data stored at ROBOs or the amount of ROBO data sent to the main data center. There's a significant amount of innovation regarding the optimization of WAN bandwidth, data capacities, replication workloads, and protocol or application delivery, to name some major areas. As such, an organization's optimization approaches constitute the third critical element of any ROBO infrastructure.

Our survey finds users prefer to optimize data at the source. This makes sense, but if data is to be transported back to the main data center to take advantage of a consolidated infrastructure, it's critical to deploy optimization technologies to increase WAN utilization, decrease storage consumption and streamline data protection (see "Preferred approaches for ROBO data optimization").

These optimization approaches can work with any kind of ROBO consolidation strategy. Today's WAN optimization tools that "fill the pipe" are architecturally neutral to

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resource consolidation. Similarly, data-at-rest optimization works just as well at the edge of the enterprise as it does at the core. For those engaging in consolidation, that's the impetus to learn how some of the more advanced distributed backup and replication platforms can radically reduce transmitted data across the WAN. Users should view their optimization approach as a leverage point to control the shape and cost of their ROBO, regardless of how aggressively they're engaged in a consolidation strategy.

This was first published in June 2007

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