STRESSED NETWORKS – WHERE’S THE SOLUTION?

With IT network infrastructures coming under ever-increasing strain due to a myriad of technologically-bound desires such as mobile working, bigger capacity and cloud adoption, it begs the question…what happens when the cloud is fit to burst?

If a survey by IT research company, Freeform Dynamics, is anything to go by corporate demand is outstripping network investment. The online survey showed out of 610 businesses questioned, 94% alluded to some level of doubt over their system’s ability to cope with evolving requirements in relation to issues such as compliance and business critical connectivity.

The uncertainty would appear to be fuelled by employers’ reluctance to splash out on specialist equipment to relieve the strain on their company’s network as the survey found “understanding when to use specialist versus general purpose solutions” was also a significant inhibitor to their network modernisation.  A total of 61% agreed “making the business case for obtaining the necessary funding for an updated network” was another hurdle to overcome when doubts surface over their IT infrastructure’s functionality.

But it would appear the answer to a less-stressed and stronger network need neither be convoluted or costly. Many functions previously only available via top-of-the-range, specialist equipment are now an integral part of multifunction devices.  Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) and Unified Threat Management (UTM) boxes are said to be two reliable solutions when it comes to performance maximisation or improved security.

Cost effective multifunction boxes aside, the internal “hard sell” might just be the job to head-off an IT meltdown.  According to IT analyst, Dale Vile, senior budget holders are often unaware of the growing chasm which is appearing between evolving business needs and the ability of the network to meet them.  Although the risks appear to be obvious to IT staff, business executives seem either oblivious to the problem or simply don’t understand what the problem is. This can lead to IT staff settling for a quick-fix and in time, a fragmented, disjointed network. The in-house solution could involve assessment and planning tools, business templates and coaching or simply engaging business executives in terms they will understand and appreciate. Trying to justify a spend on infrastructure is not an easy sell, but those who choose to ignore their over-stressed network will no doubt at some point, do so at their peril.

When it comes to maintaining clear lines of IT-based communication – it’s sometimes good just to talk.

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