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Utility and Mobility Bring About the Elastic Edge

The Elastic Edge moves and changes to reflect that work happens whenever and wherever it’s needed, and pervasive connectivity is the new way of life for the “Connected Enterprise.”

elastic edge image ian pennell
Cradlepoint

People are discovering that work is becoming possible from any location, not just the office.  This, combined with the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing, is altering the way in which enterprises are operating—and LTE is an essential component.

IoT also has a hand in the large amounts of information being generated, causing more data to be pushed to the utmost edge of the network, and depending on business’s needs, that edge is stretching and pulling to encompass network demands — creating an Elastic EdgeSM . This is fueling new ways of connecting people, places and things to the WAN. 

The Elastic Edge moves and changes to reflect that work happens whenever and wherever it’s needed, and pervasive connectivity is the new way of life for the “Connected Enterprise.”

Paving the Way to Stronger Enterprises

Enterprise operational efficiencies require planning for future changes and growth.  A good comparison might be when the 101 Freeway on the West Coast of the United States was being planned and built. As a main north/south highway stringing together California, Oregon and Washington, it became known for coastal cruises or a scenic drive through the Redwoods in the 1920s. At that point they didn’t imagine that a larger road would be necessary, most were probably asking, “Why do we need such a large road?” Today, the highway is congested by commuters and has mostly been replaced by more modern highways.  

Like this narrow way of planning, traditional enterprises would assess their networking strategies and just plan for a percentage over and assume that was enough to cover their needs.  Today, that outdated way of planning isn’t working anymore. 

The Elastic Edge makes planning more elastic and manageable, allowing enterprises to mold a networking plan that is unique to their specific needs and that can expand or shrink over time.

Wireless connectivity is essential to achieving the level of elasticity required by the Connected Enterprise.  The Elastic Edge strategy of planning allows CIOs to design a network roadmap for future networking, which can accommodate oncoming changes and technologies, such as Gigabit LTE and 5G.

The New WAN

The Connected Enterprise requires WANs to connect all people, places, and things —whenever and wherever they are.  Businesses must also react and move on from the traditional WAN, which was not built to extend beyond fixed locations and can slow the business’s ability to keep up with change.  Today, networks need to stretch beyond brick-and-mortar fixed locations and connect things such as kiosks, sensors, cameras, signage, and vehicles—as well as people.

New WANs are built to be agile, automated, flexible, and reliable as business needs fluctuate.  The WAN edge is software-defined, policy-driven, less complex, and requires little human intervention.  Enterprises will purchase “Network-as-a-Services” for use where and when they are needed. This decreases the manual tasks and operational overhead and increases the speed-of-deployment and flexibility needed to build the networks of the future.

Elastic Edge Characteristics

The Elastic Edge is designed from the ground up to be more secure, reliable, and agile, extending beyond fixed locations, to support people, places, and things.  As business operation needs change steadily, the Elastic Edge adapts by expanding, moving, and evolving.

The “network-as-a-service” model offers elastic qualities which allow for the ability to spin up or spin down connections, capacity, and services on a project-by-project basis, or for peak and low utilization, paying only for what is used.

With the Elastic Edge, a secure network can be created in minutes, manipulated from a single pane of glass, and utilizes SD-WAN and SD-Perimeter to keep up with stringent safety and security needs.

The Elastic Edge is programmed to deliver networking efficiency and primed for future technology shifts like fast evolving 5G, cellular technology, and the steadily growing mobile workforce.

Utilizing the Elastic Edge

City of San Antonio

The City of San Antonio uses cloud managed routing platforms to remotely manage its network from distributed locations, and 4G LTE is its primary WAN source.  The city also utilizes Software-Defined Perimeter, making network services invisible unless authorization is given.

The complex traffic management system has constant connectivity and real-time cloud management, connecting employees to the cloud and allowing for simpler processes and a safer city.  When an issue arises at a traffic light, the traffic management team can investigate from headquarters via live stream video to find a solution.  

As a developing Smart City, the City of San Antonio can continue to utilize LTE applications as its networking needs grow and change.

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 Los Angeles Unified School District

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), which enrolls over 734,641 students, is also stretching their Elastic Edge as their network demands adjust to the needs of the students.  LAUSD utilizes fixed routing devices in critical administration locations, out-of-band management, and remote management from a single pane of glass spanning 710 district miles.

The LAUSD school district will continue to grow and will need to keep adding network devices for bandwidth and agility, solutions for network failover, and out-of-band management in case of a fiber line outage. 

The school is dependent on a constant connection and it’s imperative to stay on top of the expanding networking needs to not disrupt the classroom’s learning processes.  

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Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

This growing food and beverage chain uses routing platforms for primary wired WAN and backup connectivity and match it with remote network management from a single location, built-in cellular redundancy, and top-notch security to meet specific networking needs.   

Business operations depend on constant connectivity for POS, guest Wi-Fi, and back-office administration. 

To expand networking needs even further, PCI Compliant requirements needed to be met to protect private information for Fuzzy’s Taco Shop and its customers.  The company needed solutions that can easily support a wide array of cloud-based security features via cloud management.  It uses multiple VLANs to form security zones for guest Wi-Fi, store management, and POS, creating intrusion protection and detection systems (IPS/IDS), zone-based stateful firewall, and content filtering for customer Wi-Fi.

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