Networks and networking suffer from a lack of respect that defies logic.
Innovation continues apace, however, the industry often fails to give these advances the attention they deserve.
Networks and the stuff that make them work are suffering from a dearth of respect to which even Rodney Dangerfield would have to defer. Sure, we all know that it is lunacy to dismiss the value of both private and public networks because the quality of experience is utterly dependent on the quality of the network connections. This is a stone-cold fact, whether we are talking about a teenager looking at YouTube videos on a smartphone, or a business running mission-critical applications.
Yet while networks and networking have never been truly glamorous, there is a perceptible downward trend in love for the stuff of connectivity. It has long been the case, for example, that the hottest, most admired Internet businesses take public and private networks for granted and ride roughshod over them with something approaching complete disdain. If Facebook is sluggish, you don’t blame Facebook, do you?. Continue reading “Networks Do Matter – Really!”→
Fifty to one hundred applications is the norm, rather than the five to ten apps of yesteryear.
Devices are also changing, with laptops now accompanied by smartphones and tablets.
On a recent business trip to Paris, guests of the hotel had to pay upwards of EUR 12 to access the in-room Internet service. However, WiFi was free in the hotel lobby, and as a result, a dozen Web users were in the lobby at any one time half accessing this ‘free’ Internet experience via a whole variety of handhelds. Surely, this puts unsurpassed demand on the WLAN link in the lobby and results in lower revenues for the hotel from in-room access. It can be argued that today’s work places face similar network and IT challenges, with workers entering the work space with all kinds of handhelds for conducting business and accessing the Internet and applications from any location. Some companies ban certain social media Web sites, whilst others allow and encourage these, understanding that the new generation of Twitters, Facebooks, Salesforce.coms, etc., are entering the business realm as professional tools and for collaboration. IT managers could throw bandwidth at the issue, but the result may well be simply an improved viewing experience on YouTube, rather than the desired effect of having certain business applications perform better. Continue reading “BYO Devices and the Bottomless, Bandwidth-Slurping Pit That Is Social Media”→
• Resilience and diversity can become very expensive
• Architecting a sensibly-priced diverse network is feasible with thought and shopping around
Nearly every single international service provider is involved in cable-build projects in one way or another. For example Verizon has been building an eight-way trans-Pacific mesh network, and expanded its terrestrial mesh into eastern Canada. FT-Orange is increasing capacity in Latin America tenfold, and is involved in new submarine projects such as I-ME-WE (Asia-Europe), EASSy (East Africa) and Lion (linking Madagascar to SAT3/WASC/SAFE). AT&T meanwhile has over 200 Ciena CoreDirectors for control plane–based restoration in its intelligent optical mesh global network. Looking eastwards, several Asian tigers such as NTT Com, China Telecom and China Unicom have all been busy adding extra capacity as well marketing new land-based (e.g., trans-Siberian, Mongolian and through Russia) systems to give more choice and diversity. China Telecom sells the aptly termed ‘Information Silk Route’ as a well chosen brand message for its trans-Siberian network. Continue reading “Sensible Network Resilience and Diversity without Breaking the Piggy Bank”→
Traditional network SLA metrics do not take into account changing IT needs.
Is your network vendor willing to extend service guarantees to application availability?
There are many ways of looking at network service level agreements (SLAs). For telecom providers and certain clients, they can be a mere commercial agreement whereby network downtime will be compensated. In other cases (for example, when downtime can prove very costly or even disastrous to a business), the enterprise customer will need to pay for extra resiliency in the form of five-nines availability or even 100% availability based on 1+1 back-up and/or a 3G wireless broadband data link. Traditional data WAN SLAs still contain the standard metrics, such as jitter, roundtrip delay, latency, availability and MTTR, and this is a good thing overall for making sure the carrier is accountable for the networks. However, IT managers should also be exploring SLAs all the way to applications running on the desktop. Continue reading “Has the 99.999% Availability SLA Gone the Way of the Dodo?”→