By Abigail Phillips
The 2013 network priorities for typical midsized (500-5000 seat) organisations are an exercise in ‘pragmatic intelligence’ according to Exinda.
CIOs and senior network managers are now wrestling to simplfy, streamline and consolidate in order to embrace the next phase of network innovation.
Exinda is a leading global supplier of WAN Optimization and Network Control solutions, with more than 3,000 midsized enterprise customers spanning industries such as manufacturing, retail, government and education. The following are the five most common networking objectives within their network plans:
1) Simplify network toolset and spend by identifying waste
Simplifying the use of networking tools – and the tools themselves – is the most frequently cited objective for 2013. Our customers are telling us about the need to remove wasted systems and redundant monitoring and intelligence sources across the IT management estate.
2) Reduce integration overhead through network service consolidation
The burden of managing so many complex and isolated systems is becoming untenable, say CIOs and network managers. With IT budgets barely increasing this year, focus is shifting from bringing in new independent tools toward introducing converged or integrated solution suites.
3) Empower managers with greater intelligence through network dashboards
The CIO and network manager of the typical midmarket company is deeply concerned about how to create simple, business-centric network dashboards that help to resolve bottlenecks faster and monitor and diagnose user issues more easily. A recurring sentiment is the need for richer user experience scoring, and a more direct connection among performance data, best practice benchmarking and problem resolution.
4) Measure and control the growing ‘social enterprise’, keeping the user as the focal point
Midsized organisations are focused on striking the right balance between unleashing the power of social media/collaboration, and assuring network SLAs and compliance. Their challenge is to maintain visibility of the user across all his/her devices and locations and to control the way in which network resources are used for social media and collaboration. This means tracking why the user is accessing applications and devices,prioritising that activity from a business perspective, and then allocating resources intelligently to meet the need.
5) Set five-year strategy for network virtualisation/SDN
The last objective is to take the first steps toward adoption of software-defined networking (SDN). In our discussions, we heard repeatedly about the need to avoid repeating the mistakes made with server virtualisation as companies embark on network virtualisation over the next three to five years.