How your network configuration slows down business innovation

Business network configurations are one of the most critical components within a business ICT system, allowing the connectivity required for virtually everything the business does. Despite being the major consideration to be addressed when trying to integrate new technologies into your ICT systems, it is often overlooked when we discuss new technologies. Enterprise Solutions are here to give some insight into how network configuration is involved for current ICT innovation trends.

Network Configuration Considerations for Current Innovation Trends

1. Virtualisation

Virtualisation, one of our top predictions for 2016, is becoming central to business innovation by extending business technological capabilities to include mobility, cloud environments, and software-defined technologies. It is the software that separates compute environments from the physical hardware layer to create various dedicated resources and run multiple operating systems and applications on the same server at the same time. Allowing servers, workstations, and storage to operate without hardware restraints enables businesses to reduce IT costs while increasing the efficiency, utilisation and flexibility of their existing computer hardware.

However, this flexibility to create virtual servers on demand introduces challenges especially for data centre network configuration. Network managers will need to deal with changing media access control (MAC) addresses, new uses for virtual LANs (VLANs), and new interactions with server administrators. As the fundamental technology that powers cloud computing, it is worth considering how its use may impact your own network configuration.

2. Cloud

Enterprise businesses are increasingly moving beyond server virtualisation to embrace the resulting cloud computing environments available to improve their business innovation. Despite many businesses forgetting it, network configuration and performance is the key to success for many cloud applications. In the new cloud-based world, the network is more important than ever to IT operations as traffic will continue to increase as users access critical servers and data from both remote locations and headquarters.

Thus the focus of network management in a cloud environment shifts away from managing infrastructure to managing service availability and performance. The key thing to look for in exploring the impact of networks on cloud computing performance is the differences that exist between your current application/network relationships and those that will exist under the cloud. Those differences are what will impact your users.

3. Mobility

Enterprise Mobility has so many benefits for business innovation, but can be difficult to deploy across various layers of technology. If mobility is implemented at the network layer, such as with Mobile IP, then sub-networks and indirection agents can be used to move a mobile node’s packets from the home network its address belongs, to its current location. This can benefit every higher layer of the stack while also minimising the reproduction of effort, and potential bugs or security concerns within your network configuration. However, the transport layer protocols may face a slew of problems such as rapid changes in available capacity and delay, the asymmetry of triangle routes, and security policies. Having a strategic roadmap for how your mobility strategy is rolled out is an absolute must.

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