The damage ‘hyperconvergence’ could do to your network

Vendors and industry analysts predict a slew of interconnected services being delivered over the WAN, but some IT infrastructure wasn’t built to handle this kind of load. Understand the elements you’ll need to optimize first

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The alignment of business and IT couldn’t have come at better time. On the business side, a hyper-competitive global market has made it difficult to differentiate against the competition, budgets continue to be flat or declining, and yet organizations are still required to innovate and grow to survive.

In IT, the magnitude of disruptive technologies or emerging trends is at an all-time high. The trends most commonly spoken of include mobility, cloud, social business, virtualization, unified communications and collaboration (UCC), all of which can help transform IT operations to become more agile, efficient and responsive to the business.

However, change as we all know is unfortunately never easy, and many may view the trends as a negative to their business. However if managed and enabled properly, business and IT can really benefit from cost optimization, increased productivity, improved customer satisfaction, streamlined operations, and improved performance.

For instance, in recent Cisco research, the company estimates that telecommuting once a week saves $2,500 per employee annually.  And that 76 percent of business and IT respondents said that deploying more mobility tools increased employee responsiveness and decision-making speed.

One common denominator – your Network and now “Hyperconverged!”
The days where networks only deliver voice, video and data are quickly disappearing. Now IT is expected to deliver these traditional services, plus the demands of greater workforce mobility and BYOD, more virtualization and cloud services, and unified communications and collaboration applications – creating what is being coined as a hyperconverged network.

In addition, yesterday’s networks running voice, data and video separately aren’t built to maximize the emerging trends.

Gartner predicts that through 2015 at least 50% of hyperconverged solutions will suffer from poor network designs that will degrade application performance, cause high levels of end-user dissatisfaction and fail to lead to improved employee efficiency.

As more IT services are delivered over the WAN, businesses must take into consideration the impact to their WAN right up front. Carefully assessing the required IT capabilities and capacity is needed to transform the emerging trends into real business outcomes. This should include the WAN, LAN, security, communications, data centre infrastructure and management components.

Just assuming your network is ready could very well put your business at risk.

For more information on the emerging trends and IT strategies, please visit the Allstream resource centre, featuring Gartner research “The Nexus of Forces Changes Everything:  Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2012 Keynote

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