Enterprise network performance challenges and the technologies that can help Posted on March 7, 2018 by Adam Burke Do your clients strain to keep their data networks at the performance levels necessary to stay competitive? Four network performance challenges Your clients may be facing one or all of these: 1 More data traffic and faster, too. Annual global IP traffic is increasing by 24% per year and will hit 3.3 zettabytes (3.3 trillion gigabytes) by 2021, when broadband speeds will have nearly doubled. 2 Arrival of 5G. Game-changing fifth-generation (5G) Wi-Fi will soon be delivering 10 Gbps speeds, latency of less than 1ms, and the ability to sustain simultaneous connection of millions of low-bandwidth devices – thus boosting use of IoT and far more cost-effective machine-to-machine communications. 3 Intensifying network complexity. Today’s diverse network environments and hybrid and multi-cloud strategies require network visibility. This means connectivity performance between the enterprise and service providers must be monitored to determine the most efficient data flows and achieve improved network performance, cost savings, and resilience. 4 Heightened risk of security breaches. As network perimeters evaporate, classic perimeter-based security, traditional firewall technologies, and reactive response are no longer sufficient. Technologies that address network performance challenges These challenges can be remediated with technology services and solutions that can keep your clients’ networks optimized and their organizations competitive: SD-WANs and NFV. Software-defined wide area networking’s centralized network view provides on-demand bandwidth as well as consistent network performance across multiple sites. SD-WAN is complemented by network functions virtualization (NFV), which optimizes network services via an alternative way to design, deploy, and manage them. Hyperconverged. Typically running on commodity hardware, hyperconverged platforms integrate a hypervisor for virtualized computing, software-defined storage, and virtualized networking. The payoff is a simpler, more flexible infrastructure of multiple nodes that can be clustered into pools of shared compute and storage resources – and expanded as needed. Real-time analytics. Network-focused, real-time analytics can deliver network visibility by spotting bandwidth problems, mapping application dependencies, monitoring application performance, detecting unauthorized WAN traffic, identifying transport performance bottlenecks, and eliminating blind spots created by increased data traffic. Intent-based networking. Using graphical user interfaces to abstract the arcane command-line interface coding and complex scripts that still force 75% of organizations to manually manage network infrastructure, intent-based networking allows engineers to determine what network functions they want without having to program each device individually. AI meets NPM. By incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, network performance management (NPM) services and solutions can track networks and other infrastructure through smart monitoring, allocate resource usage, optimize storage, and generate log data for security solutions. Network monitoring switches. Optimizing packets for security devices that monitor cloud environments, network monitoring switches aid (but do not replace) the many sorts of security services and devices important in protecting networks. This improves network visibility and powers the flow analysis and packet analysis so critical to maintaining network security. Endpoint detection and response. In a world without network perimeters, endpoints need to be secured. Endpoint detection and response (EDR) services and solutions do this by detecting suspicious activities and capturing forensic data. In my next post, I’ll examine the best practices that can improve your clients’ network performance.