Don’t Forget the Network

Written by

A recent news story in New Scientist reminds us how important the speed of network communications has become for some organisations:

….cable company Hibernia Atlantic is spending $300 million to build a new transatlantic cable to shave 6 milliseconds from the present 65-millisecond transit time between London and New York. It will be the first new cable to cross the Atlantic in a decade and trading firms are likely to pay premium rates to use it.

This is because even though a computer can execute millions of instructions in a microsecond, the furthest light can travel in that time – even in a vacuum – is just 300 meters. That is an age if algorithms are competing to execute the best trades.”….

For intercontinental finance trading firms, the network is the problem; perhaps they should try replacing photons with faster than light neutrinos!

For most businesses their use of networks is somewhat more pedestrian. However, the network each relies on is fundamental to their business. That network is a complex mix of internal infrastructure, network services from mobile and fixed line providers and the internet; take any element away and their business processes start to fail.

Making the network faster is only part of the challenge for most businesses, although many tolerate worse performance than they need to, because the network has been neglected for too long. The other two big challenges are availability and security.

Only when these three aspects of network management are under control can a business consider that it is getting the best of its existing network assets and know when and where added investments are needed that will make a real difference. A high-performance, highly available and secure network infrastructure is the only way a business can consider itself ready for today’s IT challenges – to be cloud-ready.

In the age of device and application consumerisation, users as well as lines-of-business and IT departments themselves are constantly deploying evermore resource hungry applications; businesses expect the network to cope. IT managers that take their network for granted or fail to pro-actively maintain it will be going backwards just by standing still.

Quocirca’s report, 'Don’t forget the network', sponsored by Networks First, is freely available online.

What’s hot on Infosecurity Magazine?