First Steps Toward a Renovated, Future-Proof Network Architecture

Future-Proof Network Architecture

Utilizing LTE & Moving Traffic to the Cloud are Important For Efficiently Connecting People, Places & Things

IT administrators realize networking 10 years from now is not going to look much like it does today. Enterprises must adjust to keep up with rapidly changing technologies. However, even just knowing where to begin can present a significant obstacle.

For businesses with limited IT staff, finding a balance between simplicity and advancement is important. Network infrastructure needs to digitally transform your business with operational efficiencies and revenue growth, yet it must do so without saddling your company with excessive labor and cost burdens.

Most enterprises are moving to cloud applications, and the need to backhaul all traffic from remote locations to a headquarters location likely will diminish over time.

What can you do today to develop your company’s network for the future? While this question poses long-term possibilities, there are indeed two critical first steps toward renovating your network architecture to efficiently connect people, places, and things.

Step One: Implement Broadband & LTE

Instead of continuing to invest in massive hardware stacks, your company should start rethinking the way it connects the places that make up your organization. Begin to shift away from big hardware stacks at branch offices and remote locations by incorporating broadband and LTE-as-WAN. At the same time, look for a cloud-based router management platform.

LTE helps save money on WAN costs and provides the mobility and reliability that enterprises now depend on. Similarly, cloud-based router management will ensure that with this new mobility comes the ability to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot the network remotely.

For companies with limited IT resources but multiple locations — such as those operating in retail, healthcare, insurance, and finance — being able to manage remote sites without constant IT truck rolls can drastically reduce operational costs. Devices configured via the cloud can be shipped to new branches, for example, without requiring truck deployments or on-site IT staff.

IT administrators can set configurations, deploy these configurations without a lot of complexity, and simplify and automate security. All routing and security can be handled through a single pane of glass.

Further, a cloud-based management solution reduces the need for management and security hardware at branch and remote locations. This is essentially the first step toward full software-defined networking (SDN).

Step Two: Route Internet Traffic Through the Cloud

Instead of backhauling Internet traffic from branch locations back to the company data center for filtering and security, traffic can go directly from branch offices and remote locations to the Internet via a solution such as NetCloud Perimeter. In this scenario, Internet security is deployed in the cloud, thereby providing the same level of protection your company requires while making security at the Network’s Edge easier to manage.

Once your organization has made this transition and is comfortable with the altered security architecture, we recommend routing Internet traffic from headquarters through the cloud, too. The goals are to get used to managing other network services in the cloud and to begin moving to a single, all-encompassing management system for network services. 

These are perhaps the two most important steps toward a future-ready, software-defined network.

In my next blog post, I’ll cover how your organization’s renovated architecture can simplify and secure the way it connects people (remote access) and Internet of Things devices.

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