A few years ago, it was common to hear vendors describe a ‘tsunami’ of data hitting data centres. While the amount of data that businesses create has continued to increase, there has been a shift in thinking.
It is clear that the problem is not too much data, since data has immense value; rather, there is a need to adapt to changing workloads, provisioning immediately and automatically to cope with varying business demands.
With previous era networks, in reality, that meant treading a difficult balance between over-provisioning and delay. In today’s digital economy though, fortune favours those business ready to react very quickly when opportunity knocks.
For many administrators, the struggle is to work with networks that weren’t designed to handle the volume and type of traffic they are now experiencing. That traffic can change fast. Some surges can be anticipated of course. A business that hosts a major annual event, for example, will expect activity to peak for the duration.
In other less predictable scenarios, network administrators have to be prepared for the unexpected. Any marketing expert will tell you that there is little worse than hitting the product and campaign sweet spot, only to collapse under the weight of expectation when it comes to fulfilment. While a closer relationship between IT and marketing is becoming a necessity, neither has a crystal ball.
The significant advantages of cloud, in terms of instant scalability, can be derailed without a network built to cope. Networking leaders like Juniper have made some real advances to this end. There are some new innovations that allow for organisations to thrive in the fast moving digital economy. The underlying necessity is a network with the elasticity – or ability to stretch to accommodate fluctuations – that allow businesses to capitalise.
That elasticity means dynamically sharing a pool of networking resources. If we continue with the Juniper example, they fundamentally simplify the network, sharing resources to create an ‘always ready’ elasticity.
From an administrative perspective, life gets a lot easier, in spite of a general trend towards complexity, because it is all managed via a single operating system that covers routing, switching and security. There is a complete overall view of the network, and, better yet, these new networking options have a far higher level of automation. Think of the time-consuming tasks that used to have network managers burning the midnight oil. A lot of those happen now without manual input.
The outcome of network elasticity is that it allows for the fast rollout of new services and applications. Getting it right means that all businesses can react quickly. After all, you never know when the next great idea might strike you.
For more about building ready-for-anything networks, call for a chat with the Comlinx team.