How future ready networks will enable the digital enterprise

10 May 2017

By Mark Bennett, Head of Global Fixed Connectivity Products, Vodafone

By Mark Bennett, Head of Global Fixed Connectivity Products, Vodafone

Vodafone predicts it will take up to 10 years for SDN and NFV to become the norm, but there are benefits to adopting your next-generation network strategy now

SDN (Software Defined Network) is automating and simplifying the configuration of networks in order to meet the application performance and user experience requirements of the enterprise. This enables networks to more be more agile, efficient and secure, which is especially critical to meet the real time demands of cloud services, digitisation and mobility.

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SOFTWARE DEFINED NETWORKING AND NETWORK FUNCTION VIRTUALISATION

05 May 2017

By Graham Lloyd, Head of Fixed Connectivity Product Development, Vodafone

By Graham Lloyd, Head of Fixed Connectivity Product Development, Vodafone

Exploring the opportunities and understanding what needs to be considered

Network technology is evolving and over the next few years we'll see Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) become far more commonplace. Although the basic technologies have been around for some time, we are only now seeing maturing, standardised products in the marketplace. 

SDN and NFV are quite different technologies but are related by significant common principles. Today, the Wide Area Network (WAN) is a closed and static environment. While improvements have been made in automating capabilities over the years, general management and delivery is still very much a manual process delivered through individual node Command Line Interfaces. 

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How CSPs can effectively virtualise their networks through the cloud

05 February 2017

Nic Lemieux, ICT director, Canonical

Nic Lemieux, ICT director, Canonical

Before virtualisation became commonplace, every server had a single OS and was connected to legacy switch ports. Network control was managed at an individual switch level, and components throughout the infrastructure were locally and individually run.

This caused two problems – the control of the network equipment was tied to each device, and it was also inflexible.

The industry is now migrating from function-specific network hardware and will be using SDN and NFV. The premise of these technologies isn’t new, but their expanding uses in the telco industry are.

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SMEs must better understand the cyber security threat in 2017

05 February 2017

Kevin Timms, COO & co-founder, Streamwire

Kevin Timms, COO & co-founder, Streamwire

In the past year, it seems a day hasn’t gone by where a high-profile cyber breach is documented in the media, and it’s likely that this will see no slowdown in the year ahead.

But at the same time, this has often overlooked the difficulties that smaller organisations face, particularly on limited resources or having smaller IT support teams whose main activity is to keep basic systems functioning, rather than understanding the cyber security threat.

This has caused SMEs to become highly susceptible to cyber breaches as hackers face less resistance in compromising systems and stealing valuable data. Increasing understanding throughout the hierarchy of an organisation and avoiding relying exclusively on outsourcing their security to a third-party can offer an initial stepping stone in improving cyber security in 2017.

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From 2.4GHz to 5GHz: switch with confidence

11 April 2017

By Dirk Gates, co-founder, Xirrus

By Dirk Gates, co-founder, Xirrus

2.4GHz spectrum is reaching its limits for Wi-Fi networking. But despite the availability of 5GHz, many IT administrators still believe switching is complicated, favouring instead a 50:50 network design.

2.4GHz is the original standard from 1997. It provides just three channels and is now congested, causing interference and dropped connections. According to Gartner, there will be more than 20 billion connected devices by 2020.

If 2.4GHz is to support the ever-increasing volume of connected devices, the industry needs to move beyond a technology developed in the era of the cassette player.

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