Insights

Redefining Agile Networking

30 March 2020

Two terms that don’t usually go together; agile and networking. Companies are often roped to a single data centre, without much room to diversify if the whole network goes down. On the other hand, being ‘agile’ is usually seen as having the power of being able to move quickly and easily. The cloud’s widespread accessibility and adoption, in theory, created an opportunity for network vendors to provide a service that gives their customers power and not restrictions.

Vendors may claim to provide agile networks, however in reality this isn’t the case. Many companies are still having to sacrifice on agility and therefore are still restricted by their network provider. Vendors often mislead people by not explaining exactly what businesses can get or what they are entitled to when migrating to the cloud. 

People are often misled by the fact that agile networking doesn’t actually mean whole data centres have to be moved completely to the cloud in one go. Between moving huge parts at once or small elements over time, it’s possible for businesses to make a decision based on what’s best for them in the long run. You do have a choice. 

Build vs Buy

When transitioning to a business that truly practices agile networking, the first thought is often that you’ll build the private network yourself. This puts you in control, there’s no need for compromise or to meet anyone else’s demands. However this isn’t being truly agile. There may be the required expertise needed to develop this in the first place, but maintaining it once it’s been deployed is a much tougher challenge. 

This often ends up as the opposite of what it means to have an agile network. However with outsourcing, or buying, there are multiple networks available depending on your demands, which lets you focus on transformation, rather than answering lots of in-house cloud solution queries.

Business Scalability

Businesses can scale resources up or down in order to meet demands, with the flexibility that cloud computing brings to the organisation. Nothing’s predictable in these uncertain times. The cloud model of pay-per-use ensures that companies can maximise cloud storage most effectively and efficiently. 

There are lots of reasons for spikes in the network; seasonal demands such as Christmas and Black Friday, testing, and development periods. Moving to an OPEX model, rather than CAPEX payment ensures that processes stay efficient and you can manage costs more effectively. Don’t wait to innovate! You don’t need to wait 30 working days to get the all clear anymore. Today you have the ability to innovate and test at much faster speeds with agile cloud computing capabilities. 

Your Network Ecosystem

With hyped, shiny new technology there’s often the urge to ditch all existing processes and jump on the bandwagon of ‘believing this technology will solve all of our problems’. Vendors claiming that their technology is the only solution you’ll need may be true for one of your systems or business units, however, true network agility requires accuracy in choosing the best-of-breed system for all of your various workloads. 

Adopting a multicloud strategy will make sure that companies aren’t restricted to just one operator. So if something in the network does go down, they can avoid becoming completely paralysed. It’s been predicted by Gartner, that by 2020, 90% of all organisations will have adopted hybrid infrastructure management capabilities. This means businesses can get the best service across their cloud and on-premise infrastructure without giving up on agility. 

With the term ‘agile networking’ being tarnished by network providers, the measurement of agility becomes much more difficult. As technology advances, it’s helping businesses react far more quickly and efficiently. With a diverse range of services to choose from, businesses can fulfill the very definition of being nimble. Businesses will never get the best of agile networking and all it can offer, until they understand what they want to achieve. Once a business has a clear goal, they will be able to select a variety of cloud solutions to match their business demands. Don’t let solutions define your requirements, get the right tool for the right job. 

Agile networking
Agile networks
Cloud networking
The Agile Network
Justin Day