Ways to trim costs in networking
The economic slowdown put constraints on resources last year, especially in recruiting IT staff and equipment purchases. These restraints weigh heavily on IT administrators, who are under pressure to build great networks.
Below are five ways through which organisations can tighten up on expenses from their network.
Labour-intensive network tasks such as setting up and handling a converged network can be automated, freeing up valuable time of IT administrators. Automation with intelligent software can help enterprises cope with a growing population of phones and devices that connect to the network edge. Operational automation can help efficiently complete moves, adds and changes with speed and accuracy. Also, automation for convergence helps to configure more advanced quality of service and endpoint detection of IP handsets.
Additionally, through this automation administrators should be able to automatically shut down IP telephones, cameras or WLAN access points at night or over holidays, thus reducing the power consumption of the devices.
Make use of integrated security
Organisations should expect a network to provide integrated security features that more control of users and devices. Unlike security appliances of the past that acted separately, built-in security software allows the network to participate in the security stance by detecting events at the network level and then enforcing security policy across multiple network entities.
Complete network solutions should perform consistent authentication of devices over either wired or wireless.
Mobility can increase productivity and customer satisfaction. Mission-critical wireless applications are being deployed in hospitals, retail environments, manufacturing and distribution, educational facilities, as well as in corporate conference room and offices.
The network provider should consider addressing edge network challenges with wireless LAN solutions that offer eased installation without cabling costs. These solutions are designed to remove the complexity from wireless details such as Radio Frequency eccentricities, wireless Quality of Service and security. Installation is easy and enterprise-grade reliability ensures that IT managers do not get wireless support calls in the middle of the night.
Save energy, save costs
Core ethernet switches serve as the foundation for high-speed data, bandwidth intensive enterprise applications, server farm aggregation and convergence.
Operating on a 24x7 basis, the right core switches can support "green" initiatives and cost savings through low power consumption, as electricity is saved from more efficient operation and design. This can result in annual cost savings while promoting a greener environment, with a reduced carbon footprint for organisations. Enterprises that are seeking green IT solutions for the network LAN backbone, aggregation portion and for data server farms should review recent tests that report on the electrical power consumption of switches under various conditions and traffic loads.
Eliminate a layer
The concept of the two-tier network architecture plays into an IT organisation's desire to simplify its infrastructure and reduce costs. A two-tier architecture decreases the total cost of network ownership, both in terms of capital and operating expenses. By collapsing network layers, the IT organisation needs fewer products with which to run the network. Fewer products mean lower costs of capital, implementation and training.
While the two-tier architecture represents a simplification of previous designs, it does not represent a compromise in terms of connection quality or network availability.
- The author is the regional director at Extreme Networks Middle East and Africa region. The views expressed are his own
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