Topologies for Teleworker Connectivity

A revolution is in the works with regard to the workplace for well over half of the United States workforce. According to a September 2005 Gartner research publication, by 2008 41 million full-time corporate employees will fall into the telecommuter classification, also known by the more correct term, teleworkers. The term commuter gives the impression of changing locations or moving from one place to another for a particular purpose. Teleworkers have the luxury of taking that early morning conference call in their pajamas.

Cisco Service-Oriented Network Architecture (SONA) addresses the teleworker with its own full architecture solution, rather than a cursory glance and a wave in passing. In fact, the teleworker has spawned a number of leading-edge technologies and augmentations to existing technologies. Among these are virtual private network (VPN) solutions, customer premises equipment (CPE) choices for the home, and a Cisco Solutions Reference Network Design (SRND) detailing teleworker best practices. The needs of the teleworker are simple: make the experience exactly as if he or she were sitting in the office (without the bathrobe, of course).

This chapter serves the purpose of providing a high-level overview of some challenges and solutions available to meet the needs of the business-ready teleworker.

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