One of the key trends driving network solution development, integration and application in the workplace is the establishment of the smart network concept.

The corporate network has evolved over time to accommodate changing market requirements and ensure operations are able to compete effectively.
This evolution means that the corporate network is an absolute essential in business and the faster, more accurate and more effective, the better, writes Paul Luff, country manager, SMC Networks South Africa.
It also means manufacturers and distributors have to be completely and permanently aware of the needs of the market. At the same time vendors, resellers and other service providers must position themselves to effectively meet these needs.
Innovative solutions must incorporate higher capacity, must be based on functionality, speed and durability, and must not break the bank. Essentially, they have to add immediate value to a network and reflect progress, evident in concepts such as triple play – the simultaneous running of multimedia (video, voice and data) over a single channel.
With the advent of virtualisation and cloud-based computing, it is not surprising that the networking environment is widely considered to be one of the faster growing and more exciting areas of ICT and telecommunication.
One of the main reasons is that a well established, strategically laid out network is inextricably linked to the ability of a business to compete. A network is the lifeblood of any credible business, and a smart network could be compared to a natural immune booster.
If the corporate network is designed as a smart network, or one that is based on autonomous distributed network technology, the business is placed in an advantageous position.
A smart network is capable of auto restoration in the event of a failure, and it can adapt quickly to changes within a network environment. In other words, there is backup and instantaneous support should any issue arise within operation.
The ability to withstand pressure and run at optimal levels because of this automated infrastructure and restoration is a critical advantage.
Aside from cost, ease-of-use and level of control over network resources remains a top priority for decision makers. A smart network incorporates sensory middleware technology that enhances connectivity between software and architecture and increases user control over the network.
Knowing what is communicating with what, when, how and where takes network control to a higher level.
Network control and a reduction of costs of ownership and application means management can implement a more streamlined approach; in other words, they can work smarter and reap the rewards.