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Quocirca & Networks First, Don't Forget the Network


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How to manage your organisation's constantly evolving IT network requirements. …

How to manage your organisation's constantly evolving IT network requirements.

Cloud, smart devices, the rapid rise in video and collaborative tools are all priority projects for IT - and all have an impact on network requirements. The rapid rate of change in technologies means a reassessment for IT on how to manage your organisation's network.

This presentation examines:

- The rise of the application - the move to cloud and the importance of high availability network
- The growth in video and collaboration - and its impact on performance
- Smart Devices - and the impact on security on the network
- How to manage your network in the face of constant and rapid change

To view the full webinar, please go to

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  • Pressure on networks is increasing by the day, and with business reliance on them. This presentation looks at the underlying trends driving this and how to ensure the availability, performance and security of networks can be maintained at levels that serve a business well rather than undermine it. To achieve this businesses can not stand still, as usage increases performance decreases if networks are not constantly monitored, maintained and, when necessary infrastructure and services are upgraded.NF> If your Network infrastructure isn’t in an “optimised state” then neither are your people who run your business.NF> Applications and User / Customer Experiences will be compromised if the network isn’t designed and configured taking account of the evolving application delivery needs of a business user – leading to a “sub-optimal” performance and ROI on emerging infrastructure and application initiatives as described below: In short a poorly performing network will stop any business from realising its fully potential regardless of investments higher up the application stack…!!
  • Three basic components to an organisations network requirements – see graphThe network underpins business processes – network fails, processes failNeed to manage as fundamental asset
  • Wireless access and mobile network access will be come more and more integral to the way employees work and therefore business processes.This data from the Cisco MNI shows how the pressure will grow on mobile networks alone, this will be reflected across the internet and managed IP as businesses and consumers use more a more bandwidth hungry applications. Ensuring QoS for key business applications is going to be ever more of challenge against all the consumer noise.NF> Mobility Network Readiness – 3G and emerging 4G technologies will have increasing influence on the capabilities and demand for anywhere and at any time network access when employees are on the move. However, the need for flexible on demand corporate network access from within the corporate office particularly when driven by the widespread need to support BYOD multi-media endpoints is also a concern for current corporate WLAN deployments. The corporate Wireless LAN deployment of only a year ago is often wholly inadequate in its scope to cope with the explosion of hand held devices now currently envisaged by the Consumerisation of IT. Conventional WLAN deployments employing widely adopted in recent times supporting just IEEE802.11b and IEEE802.11g WLAN NF> Access Points will struggle to cope with the increased coverage and bandwidth demands being placed on the WLAN now expected in 2011 onwards. The exponential growth of iPads and similar wireless devices will drive the need for more secure and higher performance corporate Wireless deployments can effectively manage all kinds of corporate and non-corporate access as required. Here only a IEEE802.11n delivered “Mobility Experience” is likely to keep pace with emerging 4G ubiquitous wireless connectivity speeds. For Corporate Users a differentiated underlying WLAN performance is needed to ensure a seamless User Experience when interacting with corporate Apps. Any new WLAN solution needs to provide secure, seamless coverage, economically whether using a corporate WLAN provision or a third-party Wireless service. If a service is preferred delivery model then then application performance and service guarantees are going to be essential for the Corporate User – especially those who rely upon Mobile Apps to perform business transactions.
  • More and more is going to be high bandwidth video etc.“Even though the imposition of many of these high-bandwidth multimedia applications, on top of the more traditional IT requirements, is often beyond the control of the IT department, the network is still expected to cope. At the same time, the IT department is expected to guarantee the performance of services such as IP-telephony, web/video conferencing, unified communications packages (UC), customer and partner web portals, document/image management systems etc. “NF> Any impact on application performance has an impact on the User/Customer experience leading to slower transactional performance and more calls to the Service Desk leading to User / Customer dis-satisfaction and lost productivity.
  • “There is also the increasing use of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), which is very network-reliant as the actual processing of user activity is carried out in data centres remote from a user’s access device (some see VDI as the best way to support the use of employee-owned devices).” – part of the rise of virtualisation in data centre we shall come back too.
  • NF> Collaboration Network Readiness – Now that 90% of all Internet traffic has some kind of Video content, with company travelling expenses on the rise, and with the growing need for an even more productive workforce - more sophisticated collaborative interactions in the form of Instant Messaging and Video based collaborations has emerged as another business imperative to drive cost savings and speed up decision making activity between customers and employees. This rise in collaborative interactions especially those requiring video feeds is increasingly putting more pressure on both on ISP and internal bandwidth capacity across LANs and WANs. Again this explosion in video content drives the need for high bandwidth on demand – changing bandwidth flows from ‘steady state bandwidth transactions’ – traditional Client to Server – towards on-demand Client to Client application flows. Video interactions increasingly contend for corporate bandwidth, though some may not be corporate related if originating from the Web. The next generation network must be designed and configured to ensure the resources given to any particular User or Application are appropriate to optimise the business ROI of such an interaction. Therefore, bandwidth needs to be allocated intelligently based upon the business priorities of supporting any particular application interaction, particularly when this is interactive and in real-time affecting a customer outcome. This requires a combination of an advanced network configuration that is intelligently managed to a measurable User Experience – with KPI’s especially designed for key business applications.
  • “When considering overall access needs, businesses are now dealing with requirements that must mix public and private network services seamlessly and securely. Gone are the days of reasonably predictable client-server data flows and bandwidth demands.”
  • And consumerisation will drive it even harder. Furthermore some users are better served at home than in the workplace.
  • But it is not just the actions of users, the IT core is changing too.
  • “IT departments are also loading the network beyond its planned operating capabilities with their efforts to improve the use of data centre resources through virtualisation. This allows them to rapidly increase the number of virtual servers running on individual physical devices, often without taking into consideration the extra burden this places on the network through increasing the network input/output and bandwidth required for each physical server. NF> Virtualisation Network Readiness – For larger scale Virtualisation projects in particular the latest Data Centre LAN Switching Technology will be required to marry VM instances to a high performance, resilient, and secure Data Centre network connection. The next generation Data Centre network designs similarly need to flex to the on demand aspects of a Virtualised Application Server infrastructure. With VM Server resources being provisioned, or moved in an instant using Vmotion for example from one physical Server location to another means that corresponding network ports and bandwidth provisions equally need to flex to reflect the new application flows that will result from any new Application Server configuration . Here the latest Data Centre Switches offer a scalable, resilient, and high performance Data Centre environment enabling virtual network resources to be assigned and included in any on-demand provision. State of the art Data Centre Switching has evolved to offer more scalable and faster 10Gbps Virtualised Switch Port capacity to align Server network resources with the growing and constantly changing demands of the Virtualised Application Server environment… Furthermore, in many areas businesses are forsaking the data centre altogether and turning to cloud-based services, either for the complete delivery of a given application or to enrich ones still running in-house. When accessing such services, all users are, in effect, remote, and the reliability of external network access is paramount. Cloud-readiness should be a part of any medium term network requirements planning and the network services to enable this need to ensure that the interoperation between public and private networks is transparent and secure.”NF> Cloud Network Readiness - Cloud solutions should be optimised by state of the art WAN designs using WAN Optimisation technologies to deliver more bang for each bandwidth buck! Latency and right-sizing WAN solutions is a key issue to be addressed to ensure Application Response times and the User / Customer Experience isn’t impacted by an off-site Hosting strategy that fails to take account the impacts of increased latency on any current ‘local’ In-house Applications architecture.
  • In its latest Global Cloud Index report published last week, Cisco predicts 50% of all workloads will run in the cloud by 2014 – organisations need to be ready to exploit the economies of scale this offers.
  • High profile vendors
  • SaaS dominates
  • Businesses recognise the need to measure network performance and gauge the user experience against this constantly changing background, only when a benchmark for performance is set can expectations for maintaining and improving network performance, availability and security be set.
  • Only two choices:You have the skill in house to do thisYou entrust is to a 3rd party
  • Ensuring existing physical assets (routers, switches etc.) are being used fully and effectively. This should, at least, delay the need to replace or upgrade existing equipment, which is often the approach taken in fire-fighting mode.Third party network services can be reviewed and, where more cost effective ones are available, replaced (e.g. replacing leased lines).The setting of a minimum agreed service level that the business can rely on for future requirements, which provides a benchmark against which on-going improvements can be measured.Better ability for the network to support data centre efforts to improve server use levels etc., through ensuring the network resources are available for the growing number of virtual machines per physical server.Ability to support virtual desktops and use cheaper access devices (e.g. thin clients in call centres). Some also see this as a way to help support the consumerisation of end user devices.Virtualisation in the data centre and at the desktop directly reduces energy usage, providing further cost savings and a feed for environmental reporting.Support for remote and home working indirectly reduces energy consumption through reduced travel.
  • Recognising, at an early stage, patterns of increased network use and either accommodating or blocking them depending on the business need.Ensuring business continuity is not impacted by network availably and/or performance.A holistic view of the network allows effective security posture around users, devices and data.Effective network access control, which is essential to support the secure consumerisation of user access devices.The ability to understand network traffic at the application level and limit the use of certain apps and internet resources.Making sure the deployment of wireless routers is authorised and controlled and that they are not a security risk.Major new applications need pre-deployment testing to make sure they function as expected and do not impact other network services.Planned changes in the way existing applications are deployed and accessed should also be tested before implementation; for example if applications are to move off-site to a hosted data centre, or more mobile access to a given application is expected.
  • Cloud readiness – the ability to use on-demand applications and services as and when they offer the best value for the business.The confidence to embrace consumerisation, through allowing controlled access to the network of users’ personal devices and apps.Better overall user experience/satisfaction.More reliable business processes.Readiness to cope with quantum business changes such as mergers and acquisitions.Freeing up of IT resources to focus on core business value.The network can be a platform for building a more sustainable business.
  • As you can see from what Bob has outlined is that ‘change’ iis what it is all about currentlyWhilst change is always a constant the level of change s, the number of changes and the speed of adoption is what is currently placing demands on the networkWhat we see within our customers and companies we are talking to, as well as through working with businesses like Quocirca, is that the network is once again working it’s way up the ‘importance’ stack within a business – in effect the network is once again on the agendaFor some years it was perhaps ‘just expected to work, now we’re seeing a renewed interest –given the realisation that if the network isn’t working effectively neither is the businessNew Demands: Lots of the new technologies referred to in the previous presentationMore technologies, more applications, different usage patterns, specialists kits means more vendors, more carriers giving rise to increased interest in ensuring the network ‘copes’All of this required more skills in house - Implicaiaton is that more skills are required Reality is thou’ everyone already ahs a network – old network new challenges – issues that arise are what we are helping our customers with
  • Transcript

    • 1. Don’t forget the Network How to manage your organisation’s constantly evolving IT network requirements sponsored by Networks First – www.networksfirst.comBob TarzeyClive Longbottom,Analyst and Director, QuocircaService Director, Quocirca LtdDecember 8th, 2011 © 2011 Quocirca Ltd
    • 2. Cloud computing mobilityConsumerisation video collaboration
    • 3. What constitutes your network?
    • 4. Not just more applications, but ones that are more and more demanding on the network
    • 5. Heterogeneity of supplyService providers Equipment providers Many more……
    • 6. Causes of application failure Most often the network
    • 7. How many mission-critical applications does your business track? 100 US and UK enterprises The rise and rise of the applicationNew Quocirca research sponsored byVeracode (full report in Jan 2012)
    • 8. Desktop virtualisation expected to continue toincrease making user even more network reliant
    • 9. The collaborative environment Multiple devices and user interfaces Centralised resources - Messaging - Document sharing - Conferencing Etc...
    • 10. And for good (and bad) reasons users invoke their own choice of network “apps” , over the internet….
    • 11. …. and mobilenetworks… Source: Economist Beyond the PC– Oct 2011
    • 12. Do you allow employees to use their own devices toaccess data and certain applications? … often from their own devices Source: Quocirca The data sharing paradox – Sept 2011
    • 13. Data centres are more and more virtualised How much of your data centre server hardware is virtualised? (900 global enterprises)Source: Quocirca, Next GenerationDatacentres Index – Cycle I – May 2011 Updated report coming in 2012
    • 14. SMBs are virtualising too SMB virtualisation (200 UK and German SMBs) Source: Quocirca Unpublished – Dec 2010
    • 15. Virtualisation makes it easy to extend beyond the data centreGrowth in use of cloud – source Nov 2009, Goldman Sachs IT Spending Survey
    • 16. Cisco global cloud index Nov 2011
    • 17. Hybridised computing further stretches networksPrivate infrastructure Public cloud infrastructure Server Server Server Cloud Server Hybrid service Server Server cloud provider Server Server Server Server Server Server Server Server Cloud Server Server service Server provider Server ServerPrivate Corporate cloud firewall
    • 18. A growing range of on-demand servicesSaaSPaaSIaaS
    • 19. SaaS expected to dominate© 2011 Quocirca Ltd
    • 20. Importance of metrics for measuring the performance Web-enabled applications and the internet, Quocirca 2007400 European senior European managers
    • 21. How to achieve the holy grail?A well-managed high-availability, high- performance and secure network
    • 22. A value proposition for network services
    • 23. Reduced and stabilised running costs• Utilisation of assets• Review of services• Minimum service levels• Data centre support• End point support• Control energy usage• Flexible working
    • 24. Mitigated business risk• Predict changing usage patterns• Business continuity• Effective security and compliance• Effective network access control• Secure and effective use of wireless• Accommodate new applications• Predict effects of major configuration changes and service usage
    • 25. Increased business value• Cloud readiness• Embrace consumerisation• Confident of user experience• Reliable business processes• Ability to cope with “quantum” change• Reduced pressure on IT staff• The network becomes a platform for a more sustainable business
    • 26. Conclusion• The network underpins your business and therefore the performance of your people• If your network is not optimised, neither is your business• As your use of applications transforms the network must evolve• Only by fully utilising and optimising the network and the people, application and processes it supports can your business reach its full potential
    • 27. Thank youAll Quocirca reports freely available at:http://www.quocirca.comBob
    • 28. All ChangeChange Networks First = Yesterday’s Network …makes this network but today’s Specialists More tomorrow’s problem demands… Helping youNetwork manageDemands
    • 29. Welcome to Networks First Networks are our business Our purpose is to help you ‘Do More’ with yours!Networks First provide:  Multi-vendor mixed technology skills  Independent Expertise  Technical Knowledge
    • 30. Evolve your Network Yesterday’s network, tomorrow’s demands, today’s problem - Evolve your network with Networks FirstMore information White Paper: How to Guide: