Designing a next-generation enterprise network with the agility to stay ahead in the smart digital economy demands a fresh, simplified approach.
Whereas IT has evolved dramatically, enterprise networking has remained static for decades – ports have become faster, but the underlying concepts and technology haven’t really changed. Emerging requirements have been addressed by adding layer upon layer of new protocols, which adds complexity, risk and cost, but the basic principles date back decades and struggle to scale with current demands.
The established fundamentals of Ethernet from the 1990’s now conflict with the need for agility in the smart digital business today.
Adding protocols like Spanning Tree for resiliency, VLAN’s to scale the network, Dynamic Routing to move between VLAN’s and complex protocols to support Multicast were enough to take us through the early part of the 21st century, but with the exponential growth in technology driving us towards Mobility, the Internet of Things, Bring Your Own Device and Cloud, these aging protocols are struggling to cope with the new demands of the enterprise network.
The Next-Generation Network must address the lessons from the past:
- Complexity must be avoided – it leads to outages, provisioning delays and increases costs.
- Security is paramount – The network should be stealthy with strong access control that compliments BYOD and IoT
- The network must be elastic – The network must be dynamic and support end-to-end automation; new sites and new services should be deployable in hours rather than weeks.
- Wireless is mission critical – it must be fully integrated with the LAN, totally reliable and secure.
- Experiences from the past has taught us that the layered protocol approach is not the way forward – any complexity adds risk and cost.