A New Paradigm to Enterprise Networks

Praveen Rajan, Head of IT, The Smart Cube | Thursday, 20 April 2017, 11:14 IST

In today’s agile and dynamic world, every business model is managed through an enterprise-class IT network. With changing needs of clients, many organisations are adopting cloud, big data analytics, IoT, BYOD and mobility to drive business efficiency and performance. However, there is an urgent need to embrace new IT models, as they meet enormous challenges with the stringency and complexity of their enterprise networks, which are limiting performances, deliverables and services.

Furthermore, traditional enterprise networks may interfere in innovation and business growth instead of providing a competitive advantage. These organisations need to relook at their enterprise networks to address business demand and growth, and to deliver high service levels, reduce costs, and mitigate risks.

Overcoming the Enigma of Next-Gen Enterprise Networks

While devising Next-Gen enterprise networks, organisations need to anticipate numerous challenges. Achieving high performance to meet the ever-increasing user data demand, they need to integrate and manage different technologies and resources into comprehensive and efficient heterogeneous networks. Moreover, to deliver high performance and minimise costs, next-generation enterprise networks need to be flexible, scalable, simple to manage and secure to support businesses in the future.

1. Resilience – An Imperative Need

Traditional enterprise networks were designed for speed rather than resilience, but that will no longer serve the purpose when cloud-based networks are available with broader horizons. To gain better agility and flexibility, organisations should transform from traditional, stagnant, equipment-centric network designing, implementation and management to a vigorous, on-demand approach that will enable them to rapidly expand or change services to meet business demand. Modern world high-performance applications and rich media content on user devices call for highly dynamic, responsive enterprise networks and complex data processing that can be achieved with the help of programmable computing devices, without impacting network availability.

Businesses are moving towards virtualisation technologies, which are not limited to server systems but extending towards the network infrastructure also, to fasten the deployment process, ease of management, better ROI and availability of critical infrastructure.

2. Scalability - An Obligation Beyond Doubt

Scalability is one of the key elements when we think of a futuristic enterprise network that can be easily expandable to enable swift deployment of IT services and applications to support business needs. The network must be designed to overcome the congestion and performance issues, by defining and implementing user-friendly network management policies – enabling them to connect to network resources from any device.

3. Simplifying– An Efficient Approach

In today’s world, with the growing demand of convergence of system and network infrastructure, organisations need to augment intelligence at the network layer to improve data traffic flow and quality of service, without compromising on information security.

With the utmost need of simplifying network management and high availability of services, businesses require intelligent solutions that enable real-time decision-making to cope up with the constantly increasing workloads.

Moreover, there is a pressing need for organisations to introduce agile network controllers to accomplish unified network resources in order to optimise resource allocation, faster deployments and ease of management.

4. Security - A Myriad Prerequisite

Today’s competitive business world has introduced countless security threats to enterprise networks. Network security management has become increasingly complex and has a significant role to protect businesses, without compromising in the era of Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attacks, and changes in network and security architectures.

To simplify network security management system, enterprises should adopt real-time security threat management systems to protect their networks from the growing sophisticated attacks and intrusions.

Further, to confront the expanding world of threats, there is a need to adopt more advanced and comprehensive network security approaches or technologies, such as DDoS-based attack mode sharing, sandbox-based APT detection and threats analysis systems.

In conclusion, today’s biggest challenge faced by global enterprises is the ability to deliver fast and reliable performance of mission-critical applications to end users, globally. Leveraging new technologies, such as SDN and NVF, is embracing the new paradigm of enterprise networking with security and virtualisation. The next-generation enterprise network architecture is designed and built on the NaaS (Network-as-a-service) model, which will deliver network services virtually through various business models –allowing businesses to dynamically adapt to peak and off-peak demand. It can be achieved through agile network management, controls and policies through technologies, such as Software- Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), which are pivotal to virtualisation, enabling network technologies to enhance network resilience, scalability, simplicity and security (RSSS) – shifting the enterprise network from an inhibiter to enabler of business growth and innovation.

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