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Advancing your organization's digital growth requires advancing your network

By Mansour Karam, President and co-founder of Apstra

While overall IT spending is expected to decline this year as organizations grapple with tighter budgets, many companies, especially small and mid-size ones, have continued investing in digital transformation projects to stay competitive and meet the demands of remote work.      

But these investments alone won't yield sustainable transformation. Advanced and comprehensive networking capabilities are required for companies to keep pace, or digital initiatives will stall and even worse, fail. In particular, enterprises require automated, intent-based networking (IBN) with continuous validation to support these advances.

The next step beyond basic automation of manual data center tasks, IBN continually and automatically aligns the network with dynamic operator and business intent based on data from across the network. It also incorporates analytics that identify network anomalies and their root causes, providing continuous validation of the network. IBN supports faster rollouts and higher performance for new initiatives, helping organizations achieve lasting change without straining their IT budgets.        

The need for network automation

Even before COVID-19, many IT administrators were struggling with the labor-intensive, manual demands of pushing out updates to geographically distributed workforces from on-premises data centers. Now the transition to remote work has introduced countless home locations to enterprise networks, further complicating network and data center management.

To better understand what IT departments are up against, imagine an orchestra where players cannot hear one another or see the conductor in real time. Under centralized network models, IT administrators are left no choice but to work manually with each player, or employee, to implement upgrades. This process is cumbersome anytime, but in the current economic downturn, the wasted hours and resources could spell disaster for organizations that were already struggling.

The incredible volume and velocity of data generated by distributed infrastructure is more than humans can manage alone. IBN simplifies the process by automating the build, operations, troubleshooting and security of your data center network while continuously validating network efficiency and reliability. Not only does this solution eliminate many of the everyday issues associated with manual IT management, it also enables IT teams to focus on innovation and growth, ensuring your organization remains competitive.

Sustaining digital transformation with intent-based networking

Network automation solutions approach the entire network as a single unit, allowing IT staff to remotely push updates at scale. The latest evolution in network automation, intent-based networking (IBN), empowers continuous integration, deployment and assurance checks, ensuring your technology can meet dynamic business needs.

To better understand how IBN works, consider an autonomous vehicle. The car must capture hundreds of measurements each second and make real-time adjustments to safely deliver the driver to their intended destination. IBN systems work similarly to fulfill IT intents by continually collecting and analyzing relevant data - and automatically acting on that data to maintain performance, security and compliance.

In short, IBN systems understand your intent and react accordingly across all the pertinent devices on your network, regardless of location. These systems provide several key benefits, including:

  • Security: Not only do automated networks facilitate seamless security updates across your distributed organization, they also continuously monitor for anomalies before they become major security threats.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Automating your network infrastructure services saves your IT team weeks of manual, error-prone labor, freeing up those resources for more high value tasks.
  • Innovation: By giving your IT team the time to ideate, you'll foster the culture of innovation needed to bring new ideas to market faster and stay ahead of the competition.

Without an advanced network, your digital transformation initiatives will not achieve their intended objectives. IBN and its core components, automation and validation, is critical to managing the demands of a distributed workforce quickly and securely while fostering an environment for innovation and growth.

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About the Author

mansour karam 

Mansour Karam is an entrepreneur and executive with a passion and successful track record for building high tech infrastructure companies from the ground up. As Founder and President of Apstra, Mansour leads the company's culture and business, focuses on strategic business initiatives, and runs day to day operations.

Published Thursday, October 08, 2020 7:34 AM by David Marshall
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