How can next-gen networking reduce the cost of network management?
Today’s advanced networking technologies and architectures don’t just aim to enhance the performance of networks; they also have the capacity to transform how they are monitored, managed, and therefore budgeted. Next-gen networks can contribute to IT cost savings in the following ways:
Next-gen networking underpins automation through software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV). These technologies enable centralised control and management of network resources, allowing administrators to automate various network tasks such as provisioning, configuration, and troubleshooting. Automation reduces the need for manual intervention, saving time and effort for network administrators and reducing operational costs. Some of our clients have saved up to 50% of their network engineers’ time – just have a read.
Next-gen networks offer programmable interfaces and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that enable network administrators to develop custom applications and scripts to manage the network. This programmability enables the creation of network management tools and applications tailored to specific needs, streamlining management processes and reducing costs associated with third-party software or complex manual configurations.
Next-gen networking solutions often focus on simplifying network operations by abstracting complex underlying infrastructure and providing intuitive management interfaces, none more effectively so than the Cisco Meraki dashboard. Amongst our clients, we’ve noticed that this simplification makes it easier for network administrators to configure and manage the network, reducing the learning curve and potential errors. Simplified operations can lead to lower training costs, faster onboarding of new administrators, and fewer mistakes that could result in costly network downtime.
Centralised Monitoring and Analytics
Next-gen networking solutions typically incorporate centralised monitoring and analytics capabilities. These tools collect real-time data from network devices and provide comprehensive insights into network performance, utilisation, and security. By gaining visibility into the network’s behaviour and identifying potential issues proactively, network administrators can optimise network resources, plan capacity upgrades effectively, and minimise the risk of costly network failures or breaches.
Next-gen networking often leverages cloud-based management platforms that offer scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency. Cloud-based management eliminates the need for on-premises infrastructure and reduces the hardware and maintenance costs associated with traditional network management systems. Additionally, cloud-based management platforms provide centralised access to network management tools from anywhere, enabling efficient remote network administration and reducing travel expenses.
Network Function Virtualisation (NFV)
Next-gen networking embraces NFV, which allows network functions to be decoupled from dedicated hardware and run as software instances on commodity servers or virtual machines. NFV enables cost savings by consolidating network functions onto a smaller number of hardware devices, reducing power consumption, hardware maintenance, and upgrade costs. It also provides the flexibility to scale network functions dynamically, allocating resources as needed, which helps optimise costs based on demand.
By leveraging these and other next-gen networking capabilities, organisations can streamline network management processes, improve operational efficiency, and reduce overall costs associated with network administration. It is – however – vital that networks are designed with your organisation and its needs (both current and future) at their core. Poorly planned networks are the most common reason we see issues with performance, and solutions reaching obsolescence well before they needed to. Whilst many new networks can offer ROI for your organisation today, only those with the capabilities to handle tomorrow’s networks will be able to maintain and increase that ROI throughout your network’s lifetime.