For your clients to attain the network performance their enterprises need, point them to these nine best practices:
1 Plan for continued bandwidth growth
Your clients will need to prepare for 5G mobility, the internet of things (IoT), video conferencing, collaboration tools, etc. — all of which will accelerate bandwidth demand.
2 Baseline network and cloud services
As cloud migrations snag traffic from beyond your clients’ networks and impact network performance, baselining both cloud applications and the underlying network behavior help define the new normal.
3 Embed security into network design
No longer an afterthought, security needs to be embedded into your clients’ network’s design right from the start.
4 Monitor the network
Without an ability to constantly monitor the network, your clients won’t be able to spot and respond to problem precursors and prevent them from harming network performance and network security.
5 Segment the network
The more your clients’ networks link operations, employees, suppliers, and customers, the more security threats they face. By segmenting the network, your clients can keep attacks on one segment from spreading to others.
6 Embrace the virtualized, software-centric network
Using capabilities like software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) and network performance management/application performance management technologies to virtualize systems and functions saves resources and enables automation of key business functions.
7 Commit to real-time network analytics
Network analytics engines can identify redundancies and misapplication of your clients’ resources and power centralized control of functions like security patching, managing software updates and upgrades, and overseeing device lifecycles.
8 Use proof-of-concept network strategies
Requiring proof of concept when your clients procure/configure their networks can prevent problems and mismatches that impact network performance and/or network security.
9 Consider managed network services
As networks become increasingly complex, your clients may be able to benefit from bringing in a network management service provider. Your clients will do best with a provider able to deliver both breadth and depth of offerings that should include a proven ability to:
- Scale in tandem with clients — i.e., offer cloud as well as managed services; data centers, co-location, and network operations centers; vendor-neutral needs assessments; and diverse professional services.
- Assess network performance, security, and future requirements so your clients get the network visibility they need.
- Offer a variety of security assessments along with managed security services and network security built into all cloud and network operations.
- Deliver network monitoring and management services.
- Field software-centric networking solutions, including virtualization and SD-WAN.
- Deliver an extensive range of secure cloud and managed services.
- Operate secure data centers/network operations / co-location / backup sites.
- Develop and integrate applications that are secure, fault-tolerant, and leading-edge — and precisely configured to your clients’ requirements.
- Provide a diverse professional services team that can optimize network performance, assess wireless needs, ensure apps and processes are behaving, and help implement the most effective security policies.
- Offer a flexible, customizable SLA that covers all services — from complex cloud environments to managed services to virtualization, storage, servers, and more — and roll it into one integrated service level agreement.