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Why you may want a hybrid WAN for your hybrid cloud



An excerpt from
Transform to Better Perform, a global knowledge share initiative led by the BPI Network and sponsored by Dimension Data.

Gary Middleton | Global BDM Network Integragion

Gary Middleton | Global BDM Network Integragion

Rob Lopez | Global Group Executive | Networking

Rob Lopez | Global Group Executive | Networking

The evolution of the data centre holds tremendous potential for business. It can enhance competitiveness, cut expense, shorten development cycles, improve mobile access, help analyse big data and much more.

But none of that will happen without a well-run, cost-efficient network.

“There’s more and more powerful technology being deployed into the data centre. And the network is the platform upon which the data centre runs,” said Gary Middleton, Business Development Manager for Dimension Data’s global networking group. “It’s the platform that enables the success of the data centre.”

With the flow of data rising at a compound annual growth rate of 25-30 percent and many companies tying the Internet of Things into their data centres, the network infrastructure faces complex challenges on a worldwide scale.

“I think one of the biggest questions is how the heck do they cope with there the business is taking them?” said Middleton. With the IoT, “you can imagine more and more sensors on the network. That data needs to go somewhere. It needs to be stored somewhere. It needs to be analysed somewhere. And that somewhere is typically the data centre. So the network is going to need to cope with all that.”

Another challenge comes in the area of technical skills. The network is gradually shifting from hardware to software. That means that the people managing the network must have both sets of skills. “It’s the two in combination that will give the company an overall network solution,” Middleton noted.

Regional Differences

There’s also a question of performance for companies that operate in different regions. Telecommunications costs can vary greatly, as does the quality of service. Systems that were designed to be run in a first-world environment won’t necessarily live up to expectations in emerging markets, according to Rob Lopez, the group executive for Dimension Data’s global networking team.

“A lot of our clients are expanding quite dramatically on a global basis, including emerging markets,” he said. “The way that infrastructure is designed and  built, you can’t assume that it’s going to work in Asia, in South America, the Middle East and Africa the same way that it would run in some of the more mature western European and US markets.”

Telecommunications services are a big part of that regional issue.

“Sometimes it’s not just the quality of the telecommunications but the cost of it,” said Lopez. Often, he added, an application solution may work in one region, but not in emerging markets where telco costs can render that approach unworkable. To solve that, some companies are now turning to the Internet instead of the local carrier.

The Hybrid WAN

“We’re seeing the emergence of something call Hybrid WANs, or Hybrid Wide Area Networks, where the clients want to send some of their traffic over the Internet,” said Middleton. “That’s a brand new way to view markets and I think it’s going to be one of the big, big trends of the near future.”

Visit Transform to Better Perform to read this full blog post and access other insights to turn your data centre into a response-able business asset.