HP Branch Router Buyer's Guide - Page 2

By Drew Robb | Posted May 20, 2011
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Usage-based segmentation, he said, is divided up into basic connectivity (data connectivity and security), advanced connectivity (integrated services, compliance enablement) and high performance (high bandwidth connectivity, MPLS connectivity, WAN optimization, video traffic, T1/T3 connectivity).

Bhat highlights a couple of models within the HP lineup - one at the lower end and one nearer the top of the food chain. The MSR 900W is part of the MSR 900 series and has a list price of $500 to $800. The solution is targeted toward small branch offices or telecommuters. It has two Ethernet based WAN ports, LAN ports and 3G support.

The MSR 50-40 (MPU G2), part of the MSR 50 series, has a list price of $6,000 to $16,000. The solution, he said, represents the top-end of the branch router market and is designed for larger operations. It provides standards-based routing technology and is flexible due to its modular design.

Deployment Tips

HP advises users to consider several factors when selecting routers for branch offices. First up, Bhat said to think in futures. Not only do businesses need to consider their current bandwidth needs and packet processing capacity, they also must take into account future growth of the branch. In addition, branches have to consider whether or not they manage their bandwidth themselves or if they are managed by the service provider.

"Today, IT organizations are viewed more and more as a service brokers as opposed to the previous view of service providers," said Bhat. "The move to virtualization technology and cloud services has compelled this transformation within the networking arena."

Architectural considerations must also play a part in any buying decision. Network managers have to pay attention to the kind of services they currently deploy while taking the time to understand the kind of services they plan to deploy in the future. Enterprise connectivity, too, is important in this regard. For example, there may be a strict hierarchy of traffic flow that should be taken into account when designing a branch solution. This is typically solved via two common options: branch to regional HQ to corporate HQ or direct branch to branch communication.

How about security? These days, it is no longer sufficient to rely on perimeter security. Businesses have to incorporate access control, threat management, wired and wireless, intrusion prevention systems (IPS) and more.

"The need for multi-tiered security is even more important when the branch office buildings and data closets are shared with other tenants," said Bhat.

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