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Helping your clients get the most from their networks in the age of complexity

Networks in the age of complexity

How many sites do your clients’ networks link? For many, it’s as many as three or four or more. And too often the multiple locations where their data resides are subject to critical network dependencies easily perturbed in such deeply interconnected environments.

This likely explains why there was a 68% jump between 2017 and 2018 in the rate that network errors triggered unplanned downtime.

The network ante rises

As new technologies with importantcompetitive implications get deployed, your clients will soon be dealing with:

  • 5G, which will power edge computing with order-of-magnitude greater speed, lower latency, and the ability to connect massive numbers of sensors and smart devices.
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) that will support a higher density of connected devices and deliver improvements in speed and latency.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) greatly expanded by 5G, Wi-Fi 6, and a new band of uncrowded spectrum, Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS).
  • Software-defined networking (SDN), which is already automating network configuration/management and centralizing the visibility of network topology to boost network flexibility, agility, scalability, and reliability.
  • Intent-based networking that tightly couples SDN policy with business intent by including context, learning, and assurance capabilities.
  • Cloud-native functions able to encapsulate networking concepts inside cloud native technology approaches (containers and Kubernetes).
  • AI/machine learning that will optimize network performance via pattern recognition analyses and improve security via anomaly detection and alert management.

Ignoring these technologies puts your clients’ enterprises in peril. But it’s also risky to leap in too fast without careful assessment of where their network infrastructures are now and where they’ll be heading over the next few years.

You can help by asking some questions:

What if they could…?

Would your clients benefit from, say, a 5G network able to connect vehicles and physical infrastructure? How about using Wi-Fi 6 to achieve a significantly higher density of much faster devices? What else?

Can this new technology…?

Match up your clients’ what ifs with questions about the capabilities of the network technologies they’re considering:

  • Performance: can the technology meet their latency, resilience, and flexibility requirements?
  • Throughput: does the technology have the appropriate capacity for their needs?
  • Security: does the technology support network segmentation, policy enforcement, authentication, and strong encryption?
  • Range: does the technology cover the right distances?
  • Strength: is the technology widely supported by core vendors across industries? Is it open source?
  • Maturity: is the technology stable, proven, and available with multiple device options?
Are they ready?

It’s one thing to figure out what your clients want, but quite another to actually get it — particularly if their network infrastructures are not yet ready for the new capabilities they require to stay competitive.

So you need to ask them: what is the current state of your network? Where does it fall short?

The right expertise when you need it

You may find these questions and answers complex enough that it’s worth bringing in expertise.

A vendor-neutral data network technology consultant with the appropriate experience and technical chops can help you…

  1. Understand the current state of your clients’ networks;
  2. Define the capabilities that best enable your clients’ networks to meet the demands currently placed on them by their businesses;
  3. Anticipate the capabilities your clients’ networks will need (and when) so their businesses stay competitive going forward; and
  4. Design, deploy, and/or manage your clients’ networks to optimize performance, reliability, and security while minimizing cost — and unplanned downtime.
Meet the Author
Adam Burke is Quest's Vice President of Sales and Partnerships.
Contact Quest Today  ˄
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