If you’ve been stalling about data network upgrades while also planning to expand your use of cloud services, mobile capabilities (especially corporate wifi), voice-over-IP (now present in two thirds of enterprises, according to one study ), and video streaming, you might want to rethink the order in which you proceed .
That’s because these sorts of capabilities require network services that just weren’t needed before. Without the right networking capabilities, your cloud, wifi, and VoIP efforts may well stall.
Boosting your network bandwidth
More than anything else, you likely have a need for network speed , thanks to demands for always-on-everywhere connectivity — even for resource-hogging capabilities like video streaming.
This is why many organizations anticipate network bandwidth demand to increase by more than 50% this year alone. It also explains why better than two thirds of enterprises are making plans to move to 100 GbE (Ethernet transmission speeds of 100 gigabits per second) by the end of 2017.
Better visibility and agility through network monitoring
But you’ll need more than a boost in network bandwidth. Often the pipes themselves have to be adapted to handle the increasingly converged network environments spawned by the thirst for all that connectivity.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in cloud services. Currently, nearly 90% of enterprises run at least one cloud application and almost a third have a majority of their applications in the cloud. Already, many rely on at least two public cloud providers. By 2017, more than half will run a majority of applications in the cloud .
To ensure a good user experience in this sort of complex multi-cloud environment, your IT people need easy, efficient visibility into each of these environments. Such advanced network monitoring requires machine intelligence-based automation.
Good user experience also depends on the kind of network agility that comes from capabilities like software-defined networks (SDNs). SDNs abstract the distribution of network traffic, thus creating a dynamic and highly-programmable infrastructure that enables better central management as well as an open-standards architecture.
Improvements in network security
The complexity, multiplicity, and abstraction taking hold in data networks has, of course, generated many new network security challenges. One of the best (though certainly not the only) way to improve your network security is to automate it, an approach that’s gaining traction .
It all adds up to change coming soon (if it hasn’t already arrived) to the network services on which you rely. And without a depth of networking, application, and security expertise, it can be pretty overwhelming.
Fortunately, with the right help , any enterprise can benefit from the power of today’s data networking capabilities. In my next post, I’ll describe what it takes to get there.