Networks are the lifeblood of any business in the 21st century. Our networks grow more critical and more complex every day, following the relentless evolution of technology — but the often seductive benefits tend to eclipse the pitfalls the highly saturated and fragmented market creates.
Businesses often come up against these challenges after already investing heavily in transformation. The cost savings of the cloud can quickly disappear behind a confusing web of management layers. Network overlaps create conflicts that bottleneck growth and optimization. Incompatibilities breed unreliability and vulnerability. Vendor lock-ins prevent opportunities and force companies to adapt instead of adopt.
With some forethought, however, these issues can be solved, and network management can be made sustainable. Investing a comparatively small time and money upfront yields a clear and simple management paradigm that frames the adoption of innovation for the long term.
Sustainable networks mean more balanced operating costs, increased resilience against both outside attacks and inside “growing pains,” and enhanced value of both existing assets and new integrations.
That sustainability is built on efficiency, and efficiency demands simplicity.
Simple because it’s visible
Complex doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the only way to manage complex systems is by simplifying processes and establish visibility.
Diverse, heterogeneous networks are often thought to be messy, hard-to-visualize affairs. We disagree. The technical back-end may be as varied as it can be, but ultimately all platforms operate on the same standards. The management front-end of networks can be unified to create simplicity through visibility.
Diverse network environments benefit from unified network management, save time and money for the business, and ensure better adaption and adoption of even more diversity.
Efficient because it’s built for automation
Simplicity breeds efficiency. Not only is less time spent on tasks, but the distribution of resources is also better as simple processes can be often automated.
Networks continue to grow in importance as the world turns to overcome new challenges. Whether it’s a global pandemic or the day-to-day affairs of international business growth, networks keep business alive. And because they’re supremely important, they’re managed by the best and brightest of professionals. Their time should be spent on enabling business potential, not unclogging infrastructure bottlenecks.
Leverage automation where it can do the most good, and leverage human creativity where it’s most needed.
Sustainable because it’s unencumbered
Simplifying network management creates sustainable networks. Whether you’re looking to expand horizontally or vertically, the cost of growth must be kept low, or it may be your last expansion.
The cost of any network environment is two-fold. The price of hardware is often immutable, but the expense in control mechanisms isn’t. Instead of thinking of every new network as its own world, imagine them as adding new assets to the same pool of resources. To create sustainable networks, companies have to remove the need to individually bear the full cost of each network environment.
Transforming the network’s linear growth to a curve where infrastructure growth can outpace management overhead dramatically increases the ROI of the environment.
Have you seen the cost curve of a sustainable network?
In conclusion, sustainable networks are built through these three principles:
1) networks are operating on the same standards, regardless of vendor or platform, making simple and unified management possible
2) automation can dramatically improve the distribution of existing and available resources, thereby improving ROI
3) unlocking previously siloed environments enables the pooling of the management overhead and provides freedom of movement for network data
In our next post in this series highlighting simplicity in network management, we’ll take a closer look at the cost curve of sustainable networks and how to bend a linear vector closer to an exponential curve.