Thursday, 17th October 2019
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Four cloud principles that can improve your network

Digital transformation continues to be a top business initiative in 2019. At the same time, organizations are looking to enhance the customer experience through personalized engagement. Both of these trends depend upon technology to deliver data-driven insights that increase agility and improve decision-making. And central to all of that is a network capable of connecting diverse devices and efficiently moving applications and data. By Marcus Doran – VP and GM at Rahi Systems, Europe.

Few legacy networks are up to the task. Traditionally, networks have been built on a box-by-box basis using best-of-breed equipment. This gear was refreshed at seven-year intervals, so at any given point in time the network included seven years’ worth of technology. Heterogeneous networks are difficult to manage, troubleshoot and secure, and lack the flexibility to respond to changing business requirements.


According to a recent report from IDC, IT operations staff spend more than half of their time managing SLAs (14.7 percent), monitoring (14.1 percent), troubleshooting (13.6 percent) and deploying hardware (11.8 percent). In order to fully capitalize on digital transformation, organizations need networks that can better support today’s cloud-based applications, mobile workforce and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The network must also provide the performance and reliability needed for a high-quality user experience.

The cloud offers a model for modern network design. Cloud providers had to take a fresh approach to network architecture in order to achieve the highest levels of agility, scalability and availability. By following cloud principles, organizations can achieve similar results in their own data centers.

  1. Consistency beats best-of-breed. Uniform, interchangeable components are easier to deploy and manage than best-of-breed equipment. A consistent environment also enables IT to follow best practices and well-documented procedures while reducing the time spent on day-to-day administration.
  2. Automation is essential. Up to 95 percent of changes must be performed manually in traditional networks, whereas cloud providers use automation extensively. Drag-and-drop provisioning and automated policy and configuration changes make the network more agile, and proactive troubleshooting and remediation guidance minimize downtime.
  3. Frequent refreshes save time and money. Cloud providers refresh their network gear every two years in order to take advantage of the latest capabilities. Because the cost / performance ratio of network equipment is constantly improving, a faster refresh cycle can actually reduce both capex and opex costs.
  4. Change must be baked into the strategy. The demands on the network are only going to increase, so organizations need a clear roadmap for increasing bandwidth at the network core and ensuring performance all the way to the edge. IT teams should be constantly evaluating new LAN, WAN and Wi-Fi technologies and keeping their skills up-to-date.

Achieving these kinds of results is not easy. Organizations must rearchitect the network, fine-tune their processes, and keep the existing infrastructure up and running throughout the transition.

Rahi Systems has a team of experienced network engineers who can help you develop a cloud-like approach to your network. We will sit down with you to discuss your present challenges and gather metrics on network usage to project growth. Armed with that information, we can help you develop an upgrade plan that minimizes risk and business disruption. You will gain a future-proof network that better supports your organization’s requirements.


 

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