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AI World Conference & Expo · Boston, MA · December 11-13, 2017

Posts Tagged ‘IT Organizations’

The Gartner Magic Quadrant is certainly the most iconic graphic ever created by an industry analyst firm. Second on that list is the Gartner Hype Cycle. Personally, I find the naming scheme of the elements of the Hype Cycle to be a bit trite, but each phase is fairly accurate.

At the start of the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Lt. Saavik took a test known as the Kobayashi Maru.  The test was actually a trap to see how someone would handle a “no-win scenario” where any choice made would lead to a bad outcome.  In network engineering, a Kobayashi Maru-like scenario is emerging for those who resist a move away from manual processes.

Embracing Automation is Key

One of my new rules is that “manual processes are the mortal enemy of network operations”. Earlier this month I wrote a post discussing the new rules of running a WAN, discussing how manual processes are bad for the business because they make the network a big choke point for the company, stifling business innovation.

Another New Year’s Resolution for Network Managers: I Will Embrace Virtual Network Functions

In my blog near the beginning of the year, I urged network managers to make a resolution to not stick with the status quo when it comes to evaluating and selecting an SD-WAN solution provider, as it will ultimately prove a bad decision for the company and potentially the engineer’s career.  Another resolution network managers must make in 2017 is to embrace the concept of virtual network functions (VNFs), particularly for branch office and remote locations.

In my last post I focused on how managed SD-WAN service providers can help large, distributed organizations with the complexity of managing dozens of relationships with various broadband providers. This can let a business with hundreds or even thousands of locations enjoy all the financial and performance benefits of SD-WANs without the associated risk of having to find and procure services from a bunch of DSL, cable, Ethernet, or other types of transport providers, since that’s one of the roles to managed service provider will play. This post will focus on the evaluation criteria that decision makers should use when choosing a managed service provider for SD-WAN. Below are what I believe are the top criteria:

Highly-Distributed Organizations Should Consider Managed SD-WAN To Accelerate Adoption

There is no company too small or large to take advantage of Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN).  The only requirement is the obvious one that the business be multi-site in nature and is running a WAN that connects the locations together.  However, not all WANs are created equal.

Earlier this week I wrote this post on the reasons why it is important for network managers to embrace automation. My argument revolved around the fact that network changes can be made much faster and far more efficiently through the use of automation vs. trying to manage the network a device at a time. This is particularly important for the WAN as the network endpoints are located all over the globe and errors can result in lengthy outages. SD-WANs change the networking paradigm and make automation a reality.

In the popular comic strip Peanuts, Linus was always seen carrying his blanket.  Clearly, the blanket gave the young lad a sense of comfort and security even in the face of his sister Lucy calling it a “stupid blanket” and constantly urging him to ditch it.  To Linus, knowing the blanket was there was far more important than any kind of common sense that might make him consider giving it up.



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