Story image

Working the network

01 May 10



The cost savings and business returns of network convergence have been apparent for some time. Now we are driving convergence to new levels across many fronts.

Modern networks are no longer about basic connectivity. As more applications converge on the network, the network in turn needs to be more intelligent and better able to differentiate how applications are being used.

While core networking infrastructure products like routers, LAN switches, wide area network (WAN) acceleration and wireless LAN are the core tools to make this happen, the actual intelligence in those networking devices will be critical to support the next wave of applications and convergence and mobile users.

Three key current networking trends that are having an impact on businesses everywhere include:

Continued network convergence


While service virtualisation is driving device consolidation, the integration of wired and wireless is driving access unification. Cloud computing is narrowing the gap between private and public infrastructures. In addition, the increased take-up of Ethernet use is bringing together the local, wide and storage-area networks.

As the network is required to provide a platform for the convergence of systems, another platform for the convergence of systems is emerging: one concerning energy management. This extends from large electricity grid initiatives, transforming them into smart grids, to the use of the converged network as a tool in the management of energy consumption. Network-based energy management systems will drive the next wave of convergence across IT and facilities.

Each of these convergence movements prompts radical technological progression and process improvements; the 802.11n amendment has brought wireless performance in line with wired performance; Ethernet-based storage facilitates unlimited access to information and rapid delivery; and secure developed cloud-based services deliver cost savings without affecting capabilities.

The history of convergence proves there is much potential in continued convergence.


Video everywhere, for everyone


Video is a key technology in networking. While necessitating improved network performance, it also pushes new device requirements – from corporate telepresence suites and private networks to user desktops and public networks. At the top level, video quality is already first-class, but even clearer interactions are in the pipeline. At a lower level, SMEs, and even consumers now have access to more affordable and more efficient systems, including telepresence options. Furthermore, lower-cost systems are also enabling the introduction of new applications such as interactive kiosks and remote customer-to-expert interactions.

Cloud-based services are even playing a part in the acceleration of video adoption, with publicly accessible telepresence suites and video web-conferencing.

Considering the proliferation of video requires caution – network capabilities need to remain in synch, and costs need to be kept in check.


Borderless users and their expectations


The success of networking is now being reviewed by a much wider audience than the traditional IT manager and CFOs.

The principal end-user is no longer the internal worker running static apps on the corporate LAN. Instead, today’s user is mobile, remote, external, visible to others, security-conscious, tech-savvy and information-hungry. Their expectations are putting huge pressure on the IT infrastructure as a whole – not just the network. They expect high-quality network access for a variety of mobile devices anytime, anywhere. That demand is placing a huge pressure on network performance, security and cost, so it is critical that there is the closest possible integration between the network, networked devices and applications.

Network services that adjust according to application demand guaranteed efficient resource access and use, as well as optimising application delivery across the network. Better still, they can even absorb applications into the network, all of which serves to satisfy this new breed of user.

Current and future networking trends are varied, diverse and to an extent unknown – where they move to next will definitely be interesting.

Businesses that understand what their customers’ drivers are will be well placed to meet their needs now and in the future.

InternetNZ welcomes Govt's 99.8% broadband coverage plan
The additional coverage will roll out over the next four years as part of the Rural Broadband Initiative phase two/Mobile Black Spots Fund (RBI2/MBSF) programme expansion.
Dr Ryan Ko steps down as head of Cybersecurity Researchers of Waikato
Dr Ko is off to Australia to become the University of Queensland’s UQ Cyber Security chair and director.
Radware joins Chillisoft’s expanding portfolio
The cloud DDoS prevention, app delivery controller, and web app firewall expert is another step toward a total enterprise security portfolio.
Commerce Commission report shows fibre is hot on the heels of copper
The report shows that as of 30 September 2018 there were 668,850 households and businesses connected to fibre, an increase of 45% from 2017.
Wearables market flourishing - fuelled by smartwatches
A market that has stuttered in the past now has a bright forecast as adoption of wearable technology continues to thrive.
The tech that helped the first woman to sail around Australia
Lisa Blair used devices from supplied by Pivotel to aid her in becoming the first woman to circumnavigate Australia non-stop.
Why there will be a battle for the cloud in 2019
Cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, and Google will likely find themselves in a mad scramble to gain additional enterprise customers.
WLAN market picks up thanks to high-end products
Dell’Oro Group have released a report showing that the WLAN market picked up in 2Q18 as 802.11ax saw its first shipments.