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Technology / Networks

5 ways to prepare your IT network architecture for 2016

What will be the characteristics of a good IT network in 2016? Here are some suggestions for how to prepare for next year’s trials and tribulations.

1. Secure

It’s not a surprise that the security industry is warning that 2016 will see a rise in cyber-threats. Unfortunately, networks no longer mean desktop PCs connecting to a central mainframe. There is now often the additional connection to the external data centre of a cloud provider and the huge number of new end-points with the entry of mobile devices.

Providing secure access to the network with security between both the network and the cloud and the network and the endpoint should be a priority. For example, enterprises can implement a firewall that analyses traffic, looking for patterns that suggest a threat.

2. Scalable

If the number of devices in the workplace continues to increase at the current rate, the demands on the network are set to increase in 2016. To cope with this, the network needs to have the ability to scale up quickly according to bandwidth needs.

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For example, creating a distributed architecture using Versatile Interface Processors, which carry their own processors and can switch IP data packets and provide network services allows the system performance to scale up according to requirements.

3. Green

As climate change looms large on the agenda following the recent agreements in Paris, it is worth considering how you can optimise your network to ensure that it is not consuming more energy than is needed.

There are several ways to achieve a greener network, with virtualisation providing a way of minimising power usage when hardware is idle. Deploying larger switches will also allow more bandwidth to be aggregated through fewer switches.

4. Resilient

A more resilient network is crucial as the cost-per-minute of an outage continues to soar. If you can’t use your network, you can’t interact with customers or colleagues over the internet, a danger that only increases if you are using voice over IP communications. If your work is stored in the cloud, you can’t access it.

A mesh network, the most resilient form of network, might provide a solution. All end-points in the network are inter-connected, meaning that traffic can simply find the best route through the network and persist even if a single node or link fails.

5. Visible

Achieving visibility over your network is key to optimising its performance and minimising disruptions. You can use predictive analytics to work out when disruptions are going to occur or where bandwidth is most needed to intelligently manage traffic.

A strong platform can provide you with a complete view of both virtual and physical networks as well as the ability to isolate network applications for targeted inspection.
This article is from the CBROnline archive: some formatting and images may not be present.