The day has come! Aerohive has officially announced the debut of our fabulous Branch on Demand branch networking platforms! Let’s all do a happy dance to celebrate that the world FINALLY has a secure, reliable, cloud-enabled and centrally managed solution to the branch networking problem!
What problem is that, you may ask? Why did Aerohive need to build another branch networking platform?
Well, let me tell you. In the dark days (as in, last week), if a company decided to start a large-scale teleworker, home-shoring, or small branch office solutions project to enable remote workers to access protected corporate resources securely, they had a few (bad) choices.
Let’s go through them:
1) SSL VPN Clients: Actually, SSL VPN is a fabulous technology – for one client. But let’s face it – one of the big reasons Aerohive has been kicking butt in the enterprise Wi-Fi market is that people don’t have just one client anymore. This means admins have to support BYOD (bring your own device), and often SSL is charged per-concurrent tunnel.
If each user has multiple devices connected to the VPN, this quickly becomes expensive as well as unmanageable. And don’t even get me started about troubleshooting all those random clients!
SSL VPN is also not ideal for wired clients. Sure, there are a few kludgy workarounds, but let’s face it – if you have a wired VoIP phone you want to connect securely via VPN, SSL VPN is not the first place you’ll look.
That brings us to the next choice.
2) Consumer-grade Branch Office devices: Here’s an option that admins have been struggling with for years. Why not go down to the local Best Buy and grab a $100 device that provides wired/wireless connectivity? Some of them even support IPsec tunnel capabilities! Even if the admin doesn’t sanction it, sometimes the remote users just give up on getting a solution that they can use for wired/wireless clients and just go out and buy one on their own.
Now the central admin has no visibility, limited troubleshooting, and certainly no centralized management with consistent policy across corporate and branch networks. The operating expenses for managing these solutions are astronomical when you start talking about hundreds of these remote deployments.
That brings us to the third choice.
3) Enterprise-class traditional branch solutions: Cisco, Juniper, and a pack of others have fantastic branch office devices. They are powerful, can be centrally-managed, provide Layer 4-7 security integration, and even some enterprise Wi-Fi.
So what’s wrong?
Well let’s start with the price point – not only does the device itself cost a lot of money, but then you’ve got to dole out money for the expensive big-iron VPN tunnel terminator, the centralized management platform, and licensing fees for the security services.
Then once you’ve acquired all the functionality you want, you realize you also have to pre-stage all the equipment before you can send it out. Then you have to send a tech to install it (or use Cisco’s 30 slide (!!) end-user-facing installation deck , and hope that the tunnel comes up so you can manage it.
This is all well and good for your 50-100 person offices, but how do you justify this for an office of 5? Or one person?
Branch networking offices aren’t simply defined by the number of people in them anymore. It is becoming more and more common for remote workers to require secure, reliable wired and wireless connectivity from any location – and the office of 5 people might just be your Finance department, so you want to ensure they can connect and operate smoothly.
How can you provide best-of-class connectivity and stay within the bounds of your expense budget as well as not overburdening your IT department?
This is where Aerohive Branch on Demand comes in. Aerohive is the best of all worlds – low capital expense (or none) and low operating expenses, but still an enterprise-class, cloud-enabled branch networking solution that is centrally managed and requires no pre-staging or techs to install.
It’s a full layer 3 networking solution with local DHCP, DNS, and even a custom-designed transparent proxy we dubbed “Cloud Proxy” so we can provide Layer 4-7 security without trying to stuff all that into an expensive and overburdened platform (Do we really need to mention our friends whose branch networking products have 140MB images? How can that possibly scale to 500 remote locations? Or 5000?).
Aerohive Branch on Demand is here. It’s cheap and easy (the only time those two things together are desirable! ), and it’s going to change the economics and scalability of branch networking.
Keep reading for details on the features of this amazing solution. Or better yet, visit our website and sign up for a demo!
Packet Pushers would like to thank Aerohive for sponsoring this blog and supporting us. You should support them, just as they have supported us. Go and check out their Branch-On-Demand capabilities if you have a good sized WAN and the traditional model of having routers everywhere is not meeting your needs.
What the hell, just check it out anyway. It’s very cool.