Networking and management concerns and solutions as the fourth industrial revolution continues to evolve

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By Anton Jacobsz, managing director at Networks Unlimited

The global market for application performance management software is projected to reach USD5 billion by 2020, driven by the growing need to monitor the performance of applications in complex software-defined enterprises. The market is witnessing a phase of invigorated growth, and this is being led by: revolutionary developments in technologies, the growing need to gain better business visibility and improve operational efficiency, a focus on the use of customer-facing applications to enhance customer satisfaction, and innovations in the field of real-time monitoring and analytics.

Prepared – or not – for the fourth industrial revolution?

However, when we look at where the networking industry is heading, we see that many organisations and their teams aren’t prepared for a future that is being hailed as the fourth industrial revolution – generally understood as meaning the widespread usage of innovative ways for technology to meet manufacturing, with the end result being fundamental changes in the way that we work and live.

In such a future, the possibilities that can be brought about by billions of people being connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity and access to knowledge, are unlimited. These possibilities will be further multiplied by emerging technology breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage and quantum computing.   Like the three industrial revolutions that preceded it (generally characterised as being the introduction of water and steam to assist with mass production; thereafter the use of electricity in the second industrial revolution, and electronics and IT in the third industrial revolution), the so-called fourth industrial revolution, which morphs digital possibilities with the physical world, has the potential to raise global income levels and improve the quality of life for populations around the world.

This is consistent with the first three industrial revolutions, which were characterised by their own disruptive forces as outlined above, which ultimately changed the very core of society as it was then known. To date, those who have gained the most from this early fourth industrial revolution have been consumers able to afford and access the digital world. In this changing world, technology has made possible new products and services that increase the efficiency and pleasure of our personal and working lives.

How to manage networking in the IoT world?All around us, the IoT is taking connectivity to new levels. This presents enormous possibilities as well as the possibility of threat actors using IoT devices to breach cybersecurity in new ways. The rise of the IoT is shaping networking in unprecedented ways.

The infrastructure that supports the IoT will include a significant amount of traditional network gear. Deploying and managing this gear will make network automation a requirement. Networks Unlimited offers solutions that make it possible to identify, isolate and solve network problems before the network operations centre (NOC) even knows there is a problem. This is the kind of smart management that is needed for true IoT automation.

Some of the capabilities that will make reliable IoT infrastructure possible include the following:

  • Automate standard support routines: Networks Unlimited offers solutions that provide numerous recovery procedures that automatically address common faults without human intervention such as automatically rebooting a hung, or wedged, device to multiple types of configuration recovery. A robust automation framework is provided for end-users to modify pre-packaged or define sequential and conditional recovery procedures that align with their support practices.
  • Recover from failed configuration changes: An added “safety net” enables IT staff to make real-time changes to network elements without the risk of failed configurations impacting on operational performance.
  • Reboot hung equipment: The automated diagnosis framework can automatically detect a hung, or wedged, device and instantly cycle power to the unit, frequently detecting and resolving this common problem before traditional management tools even know it exists.
  • Troubleshoot WAN connection issues: The solution can automatically detect common WAN problems, including outages or flapping circuits, and provide an instant diagnosis with the supporting trending or configuration data to speed recovery, document outages, or facilitate carrier resolution.

Other solutions available through Network Solutions for networking and management include the following capabilities:

  • Switching
  • SFPs
  • WAN optimisation
  • Load balancing
  • Wi-Fi
  • Infrastructure performance management
  • Application/service performance management
  • Secure remote management

Let’s take a closer look at infrastructure performance management, application/ service performance management, and secure remote management.

 

Infrastructure performance management

Network Solutions has partnered with a vendor to provide the only network monitoring platform that is engineered for “Speed at Scale.” The patented architecture leverages distributed computing to scale infinitely and collect millions of objects to provide real-time reporting down to the second and help organisations prevent outages.   Application/ service performance management This solutions allows for the monitoring and analysing of network and application traffic flows, across service provider and enterprise networks, on-premise infrastructure and hybrid cloud environments, delivering a single view into the performance of all services across the network and data centre to quickly pinpoint and resolve problems.

Secure remote management Networks Unlimited offers a solution that allows for the managing of network infrastructure by operating from an out-of-band perspective, monitoring devices and taking automated actions directly over the console port, like an onsite technician plugging in a laptop.   Working smarter in a smart, connected world

The Internet of Things (IoT) will change how future data centres are designed and managed and how they evolve, as massive volumes of devices stream data, constantly or periodically, to enterprises, government departments and agencies around the world. Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) should use an IoT architect who looks at the long-term strategy for both IoT and the data centre.

Please contact Anton Jacobsz, managing director at Networks Unlimited, anton.jacobsz@nu.co.za, for more information.

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