Reducing ROBO IT Resource Requirements Eases Adoption of Cloud and SaaS Deployments

BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM – July 07, 2015 –  Nearly three quarters of organizations have increased spending on remote/branch office (ROBO) sites over the last several years, according to a StorMagic-commissioned survey, with nearly half aiming to improve performance and overall user experience by deploying IT services and applications locally at these remote locations. Conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), the study identified key ROBO challenges that StorMagic believes can be addressed by available software-defined storage technologies that reduce risk to corporate reputation and enhance customer service.

The research shows that the majority of organizations (52 percent) say their applications and IT services are deployed and managed centrally at a corporate site and accessed over the WAN by ROBO locations. Reducing reliance on local IT hardware and staffing resources are key reasons for IT as a service or cloud services.  Yet these companies cite network bandwidth limitations as one of the top challenges for the centralized application delivery model. Among these performance issues are: slow file transfer speeds (36 percent), the cost of WAN bandwidth (32 percent), and poor application performance (25 percent) at remote locations.

Colm Keegan, Senior Analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said: “Despite the data center consolidation trend of the past decade, many organizations still need to retain some virtualized application infrastructure footprint across their remote office/branch office locations (ROBO). The challenge is they often lack the technical staff locally to manage virtualized servers and storage resources in edge locations. This calls for a simple, cost-effective, software-defined solution that enables IT to maintain centralized control of ROBO application infrastructure. By leveraging internal server-side storage that can be shared across virtualized applications, while providing the same high availability attributes found in the data center,  StorMagic’s offering provides businesses with a way to get the best of both worlds – centralized management of virtualized ROBO resources with the high availability and scalability needed to ensure non-disruptive performance on the edge.”

The business disruption at ROBO locations caused by over-use of centralized IT strategies can seriously affect the delivery of customer facing applications and availability of data, leading to a loss in service and negative customer perceptions of the brand.  As a result, better application performance and overall user experience is the most commonly cited (45 percent) justification for organizations to keep at least some business applications deployed locally at ROBO site.

Read the blog post: Resellers: Don’t Miss Out! ROBO Spending on the Rise.”

Click to tweet: @StorMagic and @esg_global survey show #ROBO sites require better performance and availability beyond centralized IT applications

“IT departments that ignore service issues at critical remote sites are potentially harming corporate reputation and customer service,” comments Hans O’Sullivan, StorMagic’s CEO. “We are advocating a more holistic approach that sees the centralized IT purchasing and deployment decisions for remote and branch offices made with equal attention to performance, availability, customer service standards, brand perception and potential cost savings.”

O’Sullivan concludes: “When each of these factors are treated with equal importance, companies will find they still have a water-tight IT strategy in place, but they’ll find network performance will improve, they can more rapidly transition to software as a service delivery models, and customer facing applications will function more effectively. In the end customer satisfaction levels will increase. And that can’t be a bad thing, can it?”

Survey highlights:

  • ROBO IT spending is becoming a top priority. 72 percent had increased spending on ROBO IT over the last several years
  • Performance and application availability are key reasons for ROBO deployment. One-third (33 percent) of respondents stated that improving application availability at the local site was a top priority.
  • The migration of some, but not all, business applications to cloud and SaaS solutions increases the demand to reduce the hardware footprint and IT staffing at ROBOs. 29 percent want to reduce IT headcount and infrastructure at ROBO locations.
  • Converged infrastructure is gaining momentum and increasingly adopted at ROBOs. Integrated computing platforms in which servers, storage, network connectivity, and software are combined in a single solution have been deployed at ROBOs by 43 percent of respondent organizations. An additional 50 percent have plans for or interest in these types of solutions.


  • Deploy on-premises applications in a high-availability infrastructure. Application and operating system deployment and maintenance can often occur non-disruptively and can be managed from a central location. Hardware maintenance and upgrades do not require downtime as applications can automatically fail over to another server.
  • Improve application performance through shared storage without the need for expensive SANs. Virtual SANs such as the StorMagic SvSAN allow companies with multiple distributed locations to store critical applications and associated data on site so that they are available at all times without needing access to company-wide networks. These ensure high availability, keeping the data and applications local, but allowing centralized management through a controlled, secure virtualized storage platform.
  • Reduce device count and consolidate on-premises infrastructure to expedite cloud and SaaS migration efforts. The minimal hardware requirements of SvSAN (two x86 server nodes) simplify infrastructure at each site. Integration with remote monitoring and management tools also help reduce the local headcount requirements.

To find out more download the ESG research paper and read the StorMagic blog.