WAN Connection Summary

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Connection Attributes

Typo

Connection Attributes

Typo

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© 2004 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. BCRAN v2.1—1-4

© 2004 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. BCRAN v2.1—1-4

The figure compares the attributes of various types of WAN connections. Each WAN connection has advantages and disadvantages. For example, setting up a dialup asynchronous connection will offer limited bandwidth only. However, a user can call into the office from anywhere over the existing telephone network.

Site Requirements

This topic describes the factors that a network administrator must evaluate for central site, branch office, and SOHO WAN connections.

Company Site

Company Site

© 2004 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights re

© 2004 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights re

A company with multiple sites that vary in size will need a remote network to connect the various locations. Typical locations include these sites:

■ Central site: The central site is a large site that is often the corporate headquarters or a major office. Regional offices and SOHOs may need to connect to this site for data and information. Because users may access this site via multiple WAN technologies, it is important that the central site accommodate many types of WAN connections from remote locations. The central site is often referred to as headquarters, the enterprise, or corporate.

Remote site: The remote site is a smaller office that generally accommodates employees who have a compelling reason to be located away from the central site, such as a regional salesperson. Remote site users must be able to connect to the central site to access company information. Remote sites are sometimes called branch offices, remote offices, or sales offices. Small and medium-size businesses can benefit from high-speed Internet access, VPN connectivity to corporate intranets, telecommuting capabilities for work-at-home employees, interactive television, and economical PSTN-quality voice and fax calls over the managed IP networks. Employees of large and small businesses who work from their homes need secure high-speed remote access to the corporate intranet and need access to the Internet for e-mail communication with customers and suppliers.

■ SOHO site: This SOHO site is a small office with one to several employees or the home office of a telecommuter. Telecommuters may also be mobile users, that is, users who need access while traveling or who do not work at a fixed company site. Depending on the amount of use and the WAN services available, telecommuters working from home tend to use dialup and broadband services. Mobile users tend to access the company network via an asynchronous dialup connection through the telephone company or may access the corporate intranet using VPN client software on their laptops. Telecommuters working from home may also use a VPN tunnel gateway router for encrypted data and voice traffic from the company intranet. These solutions provide simple and safe access for branch offices or SOHOs to the corporate network site, according to the needs of the users at the sites.

Central Site Considerations

This topic describes central site considerations.

Central Site Considerations

Must provide access to multiple users and control network costs

© 2004 Cisco Systems, Ir

Must provide access to multiple users and control network costs

© 2004 Cisco Systems, Ir

The central site WAN connection is a critical focal point for a company. Because many other sites and users access this site in a variety of ways, it is important that your central site solution have a modular design that can accommodate many types of WAN connections from remote locations.

The architecture of a WAN that is used to connect company campuses must optimize bandwidth, minimize costs, and maximize the effective service to end users. Considerations to keep in mind for a central site WAN include:

■ Multiple access connections: Users will connect to the central site using various media. Central site WANs must allow for multiple media options and simultaneous access by multiple users.

■ Cost: Keep costs low while maintaining a satisfactory level of service. For example, some WAN charges are based on usage, such as ISDN. Features such as DDR and compression ensure that WAN costs are kept to a minimum. As another example, leased lines are generally charged at a fixed rate, so you may want to consider this service only if the line will sustain high use. Broadband connections such as cable and DSL offer a low-cost, highspeed solution.

■ Access control: Company information must be restricted, allowing users access only to the areas in the network for which they are authorized. Access lists can prevent unauthorized data flow between offices. For PPP network links, PAP or the superior CHAP can identify the remote entity to prevent unauthorized network connection. SOHO and branch office users can gain access to secure sites through the use of VPN technologies.

■ QoS: It is important to set priorities for traffic over the link and manage traffic flow so that bursty traffic does not slow mission-critical traffic.

Redundancy and backup: Because a link may fail or usage may be high at certain peak times during the day, the connection to the central office should be backed up. Avoid backing up links using the same service provider.

Scalability: The network must be able to grow with the company.

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