Growing in rapid popularity, networking professionals identified improving network agility as a top business goal for the year. Considered the future of networking and business computing, “Network Agility” itself has become a popular buzzword. With everyone talking about it, no one seems to agree on one definition or the next.
So what does network agility actually mean? We reached out to some of the most well-known brands in information technology to gather and break down a jargon-free explanation. Hopefully, this will provide you some insight on network agility and answer any questions you may have.
Network Agility, So what is it?
To build agility in someone’s network, you need the ability to respond to network changes in real time while keeping pace with the evolving needs of your business. Agile Networking adapts to changes – like a rise in traffic, or newly-deployed devices as they happen, remaining flexible, secure, and easier to manage.
For a network looking to become more “agile,” it will need these three characteristics:
- Scale Quickly: In standard network designs, the rules and configurations demanded to expand a network are coded by hand. In agile networking, scaling becomes a more hands-off process, with network templates being deployed to address the reconfiguration of existing devices with a more logical layout.
- Total Visibility into the Network: In your current network, data is everything to you. All data from an endpoint, network devices, including performance data, alerts and more must be collected and stored somewhere. This data is analyzed by machine learning and artificial intelligence in the background to work out maintenance and troubleshooting.
- No Strings Attached: Using data collected, an agile network will discover root causes behind specific alerts and notifications, with emphasis on the appropriate steps to troubleshoot issues. Trying each step until successful, agile networks further refine and focus their abilities in fixing problems. Eventually, leaving the entire network to find and fix issues on its own, without any interruption from the added workloads or constant human intervention.
Unless you’re 100% certain your network was built using modern architectures and technology, then there is likely a mismatch of different devices spanning across many vendors.
If this sounds familiar, then achieving network agility, let alone a stable network will require modification. That doesn’t have to be done in one go; in fact, we break this process into 4 proactive steps to prepare networks:
- Standardization sounds scary, but limiting a network with fewer than 5 vendors is easier to monitor and more simple to manage as a network grows diverse over time. The challenge for most businesses is the cost and time, but with a strong focus on expertise, a plan is key to avoid tossing more money at drowning technology.
- Become strategic when growing your network. With any modifications, it’s important to make sure this is a logical extension of your network, not a cobbled-together hack. The question we always ask our clients is, “Does this position the network for success in the future?” You should be moving forward more with resounding decisions for further improving the automation and less in the difficulty in managing technology every day.
- Document Everything: Networks change, and having the ability to review items like topology maps, device inventory, alerts, troubleshooting efforts trending becomes easier, and a managed service provider like Clare Computer Solutions documents these changes progressively, giving access to internal teams or leadership to assist in decision making analytics. These are key when proactively managing your network infrastructure.
- Tight-knit processes are based on the documentation gained and held to create your helpful process for your internal employees while we do the heavy lifting. When our alerts trigger, your internal teams will know exactly what is going on and know that it’s being fixed.
The fact is many businesses have already begun taking steps we’ve outlined to prepare their networks for the future. If you don’t start now, then you’ll be scrambling to modify your networks, which is a big task that requires a lot of your internal manpower; whereas using Clare Computer Solutions, we can focus your resources, for next-level efficiency. What are you waiting for – Talk to the network experts today!