Intrinsically linked and inherently resilient, AIS and SD-WAN define next-generation networking for the modern enterprise.
By Greg Hatfield, principal practice head: hybrid networks – intelligent infrastructure at Dimension Data.
Welcome to a world where organisations rely on networks that are capable of driving resilient and reliable productivity. Where network capabilities are defined by the ability to provide the resources on demand, flexibility and scalability, robust security and intelligent design. The right network architecture is more than just a technology investment, it’s a competitive edge in a demanding market.
To add to the mix, the world is now moving into the third year of the pandemic, and it’s become increasingly important for companies to invest into solutions that can handle changing workforce and business requirements. Many are adopting hybrid working strategies, or remaining completely remote, which puts immense pressure on networks, especially around scale, access and security.
There is some good news. It comes in the intelligent forms of SD-WAN (software-defined wide area networking) and AIS (automated infrastructure services). Together they combine to provide self-healing, self-learning networks that leverage software-defined technology alongside automated capabilities. They are also the connection between the traditional network and the more programmable and adaptable network that the business needs to cope with changing workforce frameworks and network demands.
Why AIS and SD-WAN are the missing link
The link between AIS and SD-WAN may sound the same – moving the network from static to adaptable.
Companies need to gradually shift their network infrastructure away from legacy complexity that can limit their hybrid mobility. Using AIS and SD-WAN they have the tools they need to move towards a more agile network that can adapt to constantly changing business requirements. And they can do this gradually, making the move to automated intelligence within budget and functional requirements.
These technologies add a layer of intelligence that can be used by organisations to refine their hybrid cloud journeys and can be consistently scaled to provide additional networking abilities and capabilities that can service technology higher up the stack – evolving with the business, not against it.
It’s an orchestra of intelligence that plays the tune that every part of the network ecosystem wants to hear. It can also help change how the business operates and delivers value.
The value of AIS and SD-WAN
The network remains the lifeblood of the business – very few industries can operate without a reliable, intelligent, stable and secure network. Using AIS and SD-WAN the business can shift this rigidity as the operating environment is no longer manual and slow – automation leverages the technology to address existing problems, and to predict future ones before they happen. This level of proactive network functionality minimises a lot of pressure on the network, and ensures that the business remains operational. It catches the problems before they become downtime.
Another plus is that these technologies come with a cost benefit and measurable return on investment (ROI). SD-WAN comes with the promise of optimising costs, and it almost always delivers, primarily because it gives the business the tools it needs to optimise its digital transformation investments. While the latter means different things for different organisations and markets, ultimately most companies want to be able to create more robust applications, cloud frameworks and platforms. Whether it’s private, public or hybrid cloud, a network built with AIS and SD-WAN inherently provides the agility and scale required to deliver value and ROI.
Whether organisations want to leverage existing network infrastructure or start from fresh, AIS and SD-WAN combine to deliver trusted performance across multiple environments with the ability to adjust for system failure or loss of performance without unnecessary downtime. With automated services and agile software-defined control, organisations benefit from the speed and control they gain over their network uptime and deliverables while also ticking the very important boxes of competitive advantage and cost optimisation. Welcome to the network that finally meets the hyper demands of the interconnected world.