Next Generation Agile Network

The age of the digital business is firmly entrenched and networking is fundamental to its success.

Networking is fundamental to your businesses success

The modern organisation demands agility, security and 24/7 access to critical applications, and the network is the foundation to enable this. And as the network becomes increasingly critical, new, simple and agile network architectures need to be deployed that don’t force trade-offs between security and resiliency – both essential in today’s digital world.

Syscomm’s Next Generation Network solutions means that businesses can say goodbye to the complex and inflexible networks of the past and move toward a network that enables them to be more responsive to their organisation’s needs, reduce operational costs and increase their ability to innovate.

The use of digital technologies to transform business is having a dramatic impact across every sector and industry. It is creating competitive advantages, delivering operational efficiencies, and improving user experiences.

Cloud computing is a major catalyst for Digital Transformation. This movement towards cloud services is motivated by the advantages that the Cloud promises, including increasing business agility by achieving greater elasticity and scalability for application software; speeding the development and deployment of new applications; streamlining costs with a pay-as-you-go model that is better aligned to actual usage; and reducing capital expenditures for equipment and data centre facilities. In a business environment that demands more agility, availability and security, traditional enterprise networks are no longer fit for purpose.

An organisation can only be as agile as its least agile IT component, which today is the network. There are new demands and increasing pressures on traditional networks and their administrators, already suffering from time-consuming and complex network management methods. In today’s digital revolution, they can simply no longer keep up.

Networks of the past were designed for simple, static workflows like connecting an office user to the internet or to email. Today’s workplace is dynamic and mobile. Today, work is something you do, not a place that you go to. It requires a network that can adapt and change on demand.

While the reasons behind this digital transformation vary from business to business, there are three core principles that are leading this change: the proliferation of cloud-based applications, the widespread adoption of mobile working, and the evolving IT security landscape.

What do modern enterprise networks look like?


In the past, the network was used to periodically fetch new information or to support “best effort” services, such as internet browsing. Today, the network has become mission critical, and it has never been more important. The following are five top reasons why the network has become increasingly critical:

Applications are networked

When applications and data resided on a user’s computer, a poorly performing network had no impact on productivity. Today, increasingly more applications are moving to public and private clouds, and the quality of the network now has a direct impact on application performance.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is now commonplace

IoT has become a core component of most businesses’ digital transformation strategies. As IoT adoption increases, so too will the number of connected endpoints, putting even greater pressure on legacy networks.

The use of sensors and beacons has grown

Retailers, entertainment facilities, airports, hospitals and other venues with a significant number of transient individuals have been building mobile applications to provide differentiated services. These connect into the WiFi access point, further increasing the importance of the network edge. Monitoring and managing these devices is extremely difficult on a legacy network.

WiFi is pervasive

In the past, workers had to choose between high-speed wired connectivity or convenient wireless access. Today, WiFi speeds are at parity with those of wired connections, giving workers the best of both options. Moreover, there has been a proliferation of BYOD, dramatically increasing the number of mobile devices accessing the network. The combination of these trends has made WiFi the primary way to access the network, with the network edge, in particular, being the point at which all of these devices connect with the company network. This raises a number of security challenges that now have to be managed by the network.

Security is shifting to the network edge

Legacy networks had a single ingress/egress point for network traffic. Securing the environment meant putting a massive firewall at that single point and scanning all traffic coming into or leaving the network. Today, mobile devices, IoT endpoints and cloud computing have created a myriad of entry points. There are a host of security risks that now have to be managed, including unsafe apps, unsafe operating systems, unsafe devices, unsafe connections, and lost devices. Moreover, the network needs to manage uncontrollable users, monitor the volume and variety of today's mobile devices - network security has never been so important.

Today’s network needs to be thought of as the foundation for the digital enterprise, as it’s the place users, cloud applications and IoT devices connect to an organisation. Indeed, for most businesses, the network is fast becoming the core of the business. The legacy, static and non-differentiated network of years past is no longer sufficient. Businesses and IT leaders must focus on building a smarter, more resilient network.

Let Syscomm provide a Next Generation Network to help you move from an old legacy network to a modern, scalable, secure network infrastructure that will enable your business to succeed and grow. The network is no longer the bottleneck. It instead becomes the enabler for success.

Find out how we can bring your network into the future by talking to one of our Next Generation national broadband network specialists today.

Next Generation Network - Why Do We Need It?


As we move further into a world of smart digital, designing an enterprise network for the future needs an innovative, simplified approach, that addresses the issues of how networks are used today. IT has evolved drastically over the years, but the infrastructure of enterprise networking has remained almost the same. New problems and requirements have been solved, but they’ve been done so by simply adding layers and layers of new protocol. This makes systems both complex and risky – not to mention increasing the cost.

Adding protocols like Spanning Tree for resiliency, VLAN’s to scale the network, Dynamic Routing to move between VLANs, and complex protocols to support Multicast were enough to get organisations through the early part of the 21st century, but now they lag behind. With the introduction of the Internet of Things, Bring Your Own Device, and the Cloud completely reshaping the way we use the internet, these ageing protocols struggle to cope with the new demands.

Put simply, the fundamentals of legacy networks that have been supporting businesses for decades simply doesn’t have the ability to support the smart digital businesses of today.

In today’s cloud-centric world, businesses need next generation SD-LAN and WAN solutions that offer reliable connectivity, fast application performance, and best-in-class security – without adding network complexity and extra costs. Syscomm are experts in creating this Next Generation architecture to suit all of these needs, ensuring the future of your business network will be in safe hands.

5 Reasons Why Organisations Struggle with Cloud Connectivity:


1

Complexity of designing and building networks that connect a large number of sites

2

Issues deploying and managing dynamic, cloud-connected networks with traditional methods that are inefficient, slow, and error-prone

3

Meeting needs for both security and performance when deciding where and in how many places to connect to public networks

4

Unpredictable performance of the Internet and other public networks which impacts application performance and end-user productivity

5

Difficulty identifying and troubleshooting performance issues due to visibility gaps

 Businesses need a Next Generation Agile Network. This new intelligent infrastructure is created to address these modern challenges, providing a system that’s more dynamic for the future with the ability to scale and adapt depending on demand. It can’t be complex, it needs to be secure, and it must support end-to-end automation.

Next Generation Network Architecture


Extreme’s Fabric Connect redefines the old network infrastructure, removing the constraints that hold your business back, creating a simpler solution for a Next Generation network. It’s designed to support and enhance the use of smart applications and IT in future-forward businesses, so that your company can perform better than ever.

Fabric Connect delivers a single, converged network that supports a variety of users, running multiple services on multiple devices across multiple sites, and connects back into virtual data centres over both wired and wireless connections.

Five Major Network Problems Solved by Extreme Fabric Connect


The rise of the cloud, mobile computing, and other trends like Internet of Things has shifted IT from being server centric to being network centric. IT and business leaders need to consider the network as a strategic asset. Consequently, any problem that impacts the network will directly impact the business, costing the organisation money and time. It’s critical that businesses get a handle on the top issues impacting their networks today.

Troubleshooting network problems

This has always been difficult but has become increasingly so with the added complexity of enterprise wireless network solutions, split tunnel WAN connections, and BYOD. Also, most network management tools focus on devices, not the service or application, so there’s no easy way to correlate what the user is experiencing to the network. Software-defined networks give much clearer visibility into network flows enabling standard benchmarks to be set for applications. Irregularities on the network can then trigger actions to identify where the problem is and solve the issue.

Enforcing appropriate use of the network

Ensuring that traffic on a network is predominantly business-related is a challenge, particularly on WAN links. Consumer applications are getting smarter, and there’s more and more real-time and on-demand video traffic. Businesses can use the dynamic features of an SDN to allow workers to use the network recreationally but limit the bandwidth consumed to something that isn’t going to impact the business.

Ensuring resources for key applications

Network operations often involves tradeoffs. Prioritise this application over that particular service. Security in favour of performance. Spend more budget than necessary to over-provision the network for peak utilisation. All of these tradeoffs create a sub-optimal network no matter which choice is made. The use of a software-defined network means resources can be virtualised and allocated to whatever application or service requires it, when it needs it.

Reduce WAN costs

Almost every CIO has been tasked with cutting the running costs of their IT operations. Given the high cost of MPLS network and other private network services, it makes sense to look at the WAN. Most organisations though are afraid of switching to lower cost business Internet circuits because the switch will likely have a detrimental impact on application performance. Multiple Internet connections combined with multi-path technology can give a performance that is as good or better than MPLS at a fraction of the cost.

Supporting critical IT projects

Business agility is critical for the very survival of many organisations. Companies that invest and implement new services quickly will stay ahead of the competition. Legacy networks often lack the flexibility required to support todays agile business. SDNs bring a level of dynamism to the network that is in line with the rest of their business’ IT. An SDN is required for any business looking to become agile.

Find out how we can bring your network into the future by talking to one of our Next Generation nationwide broadband network specialists today.

Software Defined Networking


Fabric Connect underpins the Software Defined Network through its redefinition of Ethernet with a single simplified protocol, allowing network configuration to be applied dynamically with automated extension of networks, flows and paths across the infrastructure.

Fabric unshackles the network from the constraints of legacy Ethernet and enables unprecedented new SDN capabilities such as a self-healing, traffic optimised network that scales in a way that traditional networks simply cannot.

Moreover, Fabric introduces the ‘Automated Core’ – a technology that reduces configuration time and risk by automatically provisioning the network end-to-end, requiring only the configuration of a single edge switch port. There is no need to configure every hop in the network from A to B – instead services are only provisioned at the edge, and Layer 2 VLAN or Layer 3 routed connections are spanned automatically between all intermediate devices, within the LAN, over the Fabric SD-WAN, and even into the Data Centre.

Next Generation Networks have the ability to:

  • Manage many network devices from a single pane of glass, a central console with an intuitive, graphical user interface, rather than separate CLI management interfaces for every network device.
  • Automate simple tasks and orchestrate the complicated workflows needed to deploy cloud-connected networks.

Fabric networking allows you to scale on demand, create redundant paths for high availability and fault tolerance, improve your security with network segmentation, and so much more. Now, organisations can design, deploy, and manage complicated networks with much greater speed and efficiency.

Time to Move away from a Legacy Network


Ethernet Fabric Connect Networks redefine the legacy network, unifying the LAN, WAN and WiFi networks with a single converged network technology to overcome the limitations of the past.

Fabric Connect Networks are optimised for efficient traffic distribution, with traffic immediately steered onto the best route rather than centrally routed, and support instant, easy network expansion with Fabric Connect immediately re-optimising traffic paths when new Links, Switches, Access Points, Sites or Data Centres are introduced into the network.

Fabric Connect simplifies daily management, making service provision an instant point-and-click exercise to build services across the LAN, or even across the WAN, without the need to reconfigure every switch, router and Firewall along the path.

In short there are a number of key benefits to businesses transitioning toward a next generation network.

  • Network automation and ability to prioritise apps
  • Network visibility and monitoring
  • Simplicity/ease of management
  • Increase application performance
  • Unified connectivity across entire network
  • Increased network security
  • Decreased costs

Updating legacy networks and anchoring next-gen networking with technology such as SD-WAN will have many positive outcomes for todays enterprises.

Syscomm is redefining the delivery of communications solutions to match the expectations of businesses operating in the digital age. Long wait times and costly design constraints can eliminated; Fabric Connect leverages simplicity to create agility. Network simplification, empowered by a fully integrated communications infrastructure, delivers rapid application deployment and seamless service provisioning.

Increasingly, organisations are crying out for a network solution that provides dependable scaling, high-reliability, actively promotes simplicity, and a solution that lowers their costs and delivers the agility that businesses crave.

Syscomm are experts in the design and delivery of Fabric Networks, and, having installed Extreme Fabric Connect across our UK Data Centres, we use Fabric technology to support our ISP and Cloud operations. We design and implement next-generation Fabric network solutions to extend the benefits of Fabric into our customers LAN, WiFI, WAN and Data Centre networks, building truly converged networks to simplify, secure and accelerate your critical business infrastructure.

Is your organisation ready to move to SD-WAN for cloud-connect networking?

Download your complimentary copy of Fabric Networking for Dummies here to learn how to create a more agile, flexible, and secure network.

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