Are your branch offices suffering from poor performance?

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Branch offices play a critical role in the success of a business, contributing significantly to its bottom line. Despite that, branch offices often do not have all the pieces of the puzzle in place for robust performance and threat management in these remote locations.

This can happen due to shortfalls in branch office IT management, which can include:

  • No full-time IT staff on site
  • Reduced visibility into network and service performance compared to headquarters or data center locations
  • Limited or no visibility into traffic that doesn’t come back to the data center
  • Difficulty in understanding the remote end-user experience and quantifying the impact of service degradations

Negating these shortfalls requires a more comprehensive approach to remote management encompassing the following areas:

  • Visibility into both on-premises and SaaS applications: This ensures that branch service performance can be effectively monitored and managed remotely, regardless of where the application traffic is directed.
  • Unified service management: Network and UC engineers, as well as Operations teams, need visibility to ensure optimal performance in remote locations, ideally with in-depth visibility into both application and VoIP traffic with per-conversation quality measurements.
  • Packet-level forensics for threat management: Trouble-shooters need the necessary data to analyze complex issues, while security analysts need access to the ultimate source of truth for threat remediation.
  • Data source integration: Gaining a comprehensive picture of how business-critical services are being delivered to branch users requires a means to combine packets, enriched flow (IPFIX/NetFlow), and ongoing active testing.

A dedicated branch office monitoring platform should address these needs at the following technical levels:

  • Packet-level visibility: A branch appliance should capture traffic at high speed while having sufficient capacity for storage of historical data for troubleshooting, holding vendors accountable for their issues, and forensic threat analysis. It should also produce packet-driven metadata to facilitate efficient analysis and reporting across large-scale branch deployments.
  • Flow-based analysis: Flow data provides visibility into all the traffic traveling in and out of branch locations, helping to answer questions like who is talking to whom, how bandwidth is being consumed, and whether traffic is being prioritized correctly.
  • 24x7 synthetic monitoring: Synthetic (active) testing complements packet and flow-based passive analysis. Deploying small footprint or virtual agents in branch locations allows for ongoing monitoring and performance analysis of on-premises hosted applications or SaaS services, identifying and resolving performance problems before users are impacted.
  • Comprehensive end-user experience management: Combining packet, flow, and synthetic test results will allow you to measure and visualize the end-user experience as well as dig down to isolate problems. This will give IT and Operations team data center-like visibility all the way out to branch office locations. This ensures that when performance issues are encountered, businesses can understand the duration, scope, and severity of the impact.

Adopt a no-compromise approach to branch office performance and threat management. The Observer Branch Management solution from VIAVI provides comprehensive visibility for your branch offices, giving you confidence that you can efficiently visualize and address any performance issues or vulnerabilities. For more information, click here.

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