Smart Alert — A Network Engineer’s Guide to Boosting Your Network IQ
The following outline is Logicalis Network Engineer, triple CCIE Frank Bogucanin’s 5-step checklist of opportunities to boost a network’s IQ.
- End-to-end Security Architectures
- Identity-based Network Access Control services provide network-wide creation, distribution, and monitoring of security policies based on contextual knowledge—including user authentication, device profiling, policy enforcement, posture assessment, and remediation.
- Universal access user clients facilitate network access, user authentication, remote VPN access, and content filtering enforcement.
- Network awareness of media rich applications
- Deployment, optimization, monitoring, and troubleshooting of growing rich media applications on the network (i.e., video).
- Intelligent network devices automatically identify applications, apply appropriate QoS, and optimize communications via interaction of applications, like web conferencing, with network devices.
- Integrated application tools on network devices allow simulation of interactive sessions to test network capacity (i.e., IP SLAs), and provide path and performance monitoring for live rich media sessions.
- Centralized network management tools allow network operations staff to select the type of intelligent network to prepare and provision, and automatically prepare the network for deployment.
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
- VDI facilitates desktop licensing, central desktop management from data centers, and reduction in energy consumption, etc.
- Technology overlays improve their performance and user experience for rich media applications (i.e., voice and video).
- Network provisioning, management, and monitoring
- Workflow-based tools enable zero-touch deployment of network infrastructure—wired, wireless, remote, PCs, laptops/desktops, tablets, and smartphones. This enables IT to focus on more strategic tasks like network planning and new solution deployment.
- Cloud computing consumption models (public, private, and hybrid)
- Technologies that ensure security, performance, and availability
Designed to replace the IPv4 protocol, which is already depleted in much of the world, IPv6 will allow the creation of a nearly infinite number of public Web addresses, supporting the continued growth of the Internet and the increasing Internet-enablement of a wide range of products and services. The new protocol provides the capacity required to support:
- The proliferation of mobile devices, many of which will require IPv6 connectivity, and the mobility strategies that are increasingly important to competitive strategies worldwide.
- Increasing Internet connectivity requirements in devices like cars, security systems, heart rate monitors, and home appliances.
- New demands generated by industrial and residential applications, transportation systems connected to the cloud, integrated telephony services, sensor networks, distributed computing, and online gaming.
Perhaps most importantly, IPv6-readiness is fast becoming a requirement for companies looking to tap into growth opportunities in fast-growing economies where IPv4 has already run out.
One year after World IPv6 Day, the U.S. ranks seventh among the world’s nations in terms of relative readiness for the new Internet addressing protocol.
Six Steps to Prepare for IPv6
- Train your IT staff: Make sure they understand IPv6, its implications and how its features differ from IPv4
- Audit your devices: Finding out if the devices the business and its employees rely on are ‘IPv6-compliant’ is half the job. It is vital that the IT department also considers whether any action must be taken to activate IPv6 functionality and what impact that might have on the user experience.
- Audit business applications: Work out whether your business applications are likely to be adversely affected by IPv6 conversion? That includes looking at interdependencies, any configuration changes that might be required – and any knock on effects they may have
- Consider network and server performance: Will IPv6 create additional bandwidth requirements and will performance be affected if the issue is not dealt with?
- Assess any outsourced contracts: Are you suppliers IPv6 ready and could service levels be affected by a switchover to IPv6?
- Plan your readiness program carefully: For instance, with all the information above to hand, you can work out whether a phased approach might be the most cost effective, taking into account any risks of disruption.
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