Hybrid Network – music to the ears of the modern CIOBy Lindsay Grant,
Borderline – feels like I’m going to lose my mind
Networks have been evolving for years in both reach, and range of access technologies. At the same time their availability and capacity has become even more critical to doing business. It certainly is no longer the case of deciding the access, port and Class of Service requirements of the network and letting it run until renewal time. This makes the role of a network administrator or CTO even more challenging.
The demands made of network administrators have increased massively in recent times. This trend will continue as Boards of Directors are seeing the commercial benefits of moving to Cloud-based technologies. Organisations are seeking to leverage the use of Salesforce.com, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Office 365 and others, and now expect, to be able to drive the same cost efficiencies and flexibility out of the core network.
The underlying economic climate is forcing companies to review their networks and investigate whether there are more cost effective ways of connecting their sites than the traditional Layer 2 (Ethernet) and Layer 3 (MPLS) networks. There is also an expectation that the level of flexibility seen in data centre infrastructure should be available at a network level.
So how does a service provider, like BT, address those expectations? The way the market is heading, according to Gartner, is towards standardised hybrid WAN offerings that combine MPLS, internet VPNs, Ethernet services and local internet breakout with added security.
This is what BT calls an Intelligent Hybrid Network. By leveraging existing and emerging technologies we are able to address the demands for performance and agility as well as reflecting the desire for cost reduction. Analysts have recommended a greater utilisation of public access Internet technologies as well as continued use of private IP based WANs, and we see this as more and more companies move to use the Internet as a failover backup and even a primary access method for some sites.
By looking at the various Internet options available to customers today, BT is able to offer our customers a balance of cost control, flexibility and scale. In addition to private layer 2 and 3 networks, customers have the option of:
- using SLA-based, business grade Internet access in around 50 countries globally or
- lower speed, lower cost, contended or uncontended access in 190 countries or
- to offload low-priority traffic from their primary access onto the Internet
All of these options, from one supplier, all around the world. Combining these with our MPLS reach, across 198 countries and territories, forms the foundations of a truly hybrid network.
Simple? No. Are organisations going to abandon MPLS and move all of their business critical, time sensitive traffic to the Internet? Again, no. What the Intelligent Hybrid Network offers, especially when features like Fast Turn Up are used, are opportunities to connect more quickly and route traffic more cost-effectively without losing performance.
Networks are becoming more complex, with more options, and more opportunity to leverage additional services such as voice traffic on the network; as well as availing of all the 3rd party cloud services available in the market today. They are transforming faster than ever before, and BT is leading the way in making global networks simpler for our customers.
The intelligent hybrid network has come of age – to find out more sign up to the free BT webinar on Wednesday 23rd November: ‘Build your network to thrive in the digital age’. It’s time for you to take the compass back. Join us and Current Analysis to find out how.