Top tips to take control of your network infrastructure in 2016
With a new year upon us, now is the perfect time to take stock of your network and look at what can be done to improve its performance.
With the rapid pace of technological change and the pressures of todayâ€™s IT landscape, you can be forgiven if your organisation hasn't planned for every eventuality the future of networking brings.
However, it has never been more important to focus on the trends and technologies that are set to have a big impact on networks in the near future.
Here are our top tips to make the most of your network in 2016.
Embrace BYOD & IoT â€“ Know your network
We live in a connected society, with Facebook and other Social Media bringing us closer together. But itâ€™s not just people that are getting more connected, we are getting more connected to our gadgets and our gadgets are getting closer to each other. This is not only true of mobile devices, such as tablets and phones, but everything from your TV to your toaster, your heating, lighting and security solutions.
Adding these devices to a network will cause exponential network growth and some will be bandwidth hogs. Additionally some may bring with them new vulnerabilities. Network administrators, more than ever, need to re-visit their network design and management strategies. They need to know what is connected to their network and the potential issues. Look out for the new IPAM module to help you with this task.
Monitoring (of course)
Robust monitoring is paramount to modern organisations. With disparate technologies and BYOD common in todayâ€™s organisations it gets harder for administrators to track devices, conflicts and resource issues. With a modern monitoring solution you can spot potential problems across your entire estate and deal with them before they can damage your business.
Invest in Security and look internally
It may sound like common sense but with the number of high profile data breaches in 2015 data security is more important than ever. Most data leaks occur internally, so with more interconnected devices on your network, understanding your traffic, who is on your network and what they are accessing is more important than ever before.
Invest in Layer 7 equipped firewalls
Continuing from our last point, within modern IT environments applications rule. For this reason organisations need to ensure firewalls are equipped to perform deep packet analysis, to move beyond Layer 4 to understand traffic at the application layer â€“ Layer 7. So make sure your firewalls are up to date and adhere to the latest standards to provide the level of threat protection you need. Donâ€™t forget to review those firewall rules and ask if they are still relevant? Can I remove that rule?
Embrace new technology
Network managers need to keep an eye on new technology developments. Advances such as software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV) are building momentum and transforming the ways in which networks are managed. Even if managers are not currently planning to implement this technology they need to be aware of the implications this hybrid infrastructure and how might improve or protect your business. Donâ€™t just hide behind your desk and ignore the telephone, book yourself into one of the many dedicated exhibition and conferences that have grown up over the recent years and talk to new vendors in the market.
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