Enterprise networking experts often disagree on the merits of software. But when it comes to SD-WAN, their opinions seem to be unanimous.
Rindhir Singh, Product Manager for Internet Access and SDN at Internet Solutions, described the future of the distributed network as a hybrid one. “The notion that enterprises have to take an either-or approach to SD-WAN and MPLS is a flawed one. The two technologies operating in unison unlocks the potential to provide substantially higher benefits as opposed to them operating in isolation. The thought process when it comes to architecting a distributed network should ideally focus on implementing the most fit-for-purpose network that leverages both the robustness and reliability of MPLS and the agility and intelligence of SD-WAN.” he said.
And Ben Hendrick, an executive for IBM Security, points out the security benefits of SD-WAN. “One of the most obvious and pressing benefits of SD-WAN is improved network security,” which strengthens access control policies and allows IT managers to better manage and monitor who is accessing the network.
With these insights in mind, you might be wondering what the future enterprise network will look like? How can organisations meet the challenges associated with successfully leveraging future enterprise networking innovations?
Here are a few pointers:
Champion flexibility and simplify management: From big data analytics and cloud to the Internet of Things and mobility, businesses need to keep their eyes on so many new tools and technologies. And often, their networks are too rigid and complex to handle these innovations. This puts the business on the back foot. Future networks must be designed with agility and flexibility in mind, allowing IT to adopt a more dynamic, on-demand approach. This makes it possible to scale and adapt as business needs change. Properly managing the network means implementing intelligent solutions that offer a real-time picture of what’s happening across the network, enabling decision-making, faster deployment, optimising resource deployment and simplifying the network.
Focus on scalability: Users shouldn’t have to deal with congestion and network performance issues. When designing future-proof networks, your IT team must keep the user experience in mind and should always consider how the network will need to evolve as the organisation’s requirements change. Networks of the future must be designed to handle capacity needs in data centres, WAN, campus networks, mobile Internet requirements and IoT network demands.
Advance security: Certain aspects of computing and security are evolving at lightning speeds. But networks aren’t keeping pace. As attacks become more sophisticated, enterprises must put systems in place to monitor and respond to network security threats in real time. These more advanced and comprehensive network security approaches and technologies include sandbox-based APT detection, unknown threats analysis leveraging big data analytics and DDoS-based attack mode-sharing.
Any business that’s looking to successfully build its digital strategies demands an IT infrastructure that’s agile and flexible enough to keep up. In fact, the enterprise network is becoming more critical than ever as connectivity demands skyrocket due to the rise in mobile workforces, growth around the Internet of things and the proliferation of cloud-based applications. Do you need help finding the right fit for your business? Check out our guide on designing the enterprise network architecture of the future to help you make the right decision.
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