|Issue:||Latin America I 1998|
|Topic:||The Convergence and Change|
|Author:||Adriano R. Rosa|
|Title:||Regional Marketing Manager|
|Organisation:||Bay Networks, Inc., USA|
The convergence of new, resource-intensive Internet-based applications with traditional enterprise applications is producing an unprecedented strain on current network infrastructures. It is critical for organisations therefore, not to get locked into proprietary architectures which make the network’s evolution difficult and costly. Bay Networks offers Adaptive Networking which can deliver more open, high-level services to customers while reducing the complexity of their networks.
In today’s business environment, several major networking technology trends are rapidly taking place. The convergence of new, resource-intensive Internet-based applications with traditional enterprise applications is producing an unprecedented strain on current network infrastructures. These advances in technology and business requirements have combined to radically transform the physical and logical structures of organisations and their supporting applications and networks. Strides in computing, networking and telecommunications technology, coupled with the popularity of the Internet, the World Wide Web, browser technology and intranets, are redefining the boundaries of the enterprise network. These new and emerging technologies are eliminating the constraints of distance and time. As a result, an enterprise can now encompass any office location, telecommuters and mobile workers as well as the organisation’s customers, suppliers and partners. This, in turn, allows organisations to share information without concern for geographic constraints and time, resulting in a global, electronically linked business community. Additionally, users’ demand for access to emerging applications, such as image processing, data mining, video conferencing at the desktop, information modelling and multimedia, are dramatically changing networks’ service requirements. These Internet-based applications are causing a fundamental change in the way users interact with each other, the computer and the network. Moreover, these next-generation, high-bandwidth applications are driving the need for networks that deliver greater performance, availability and scalability. Changing Network Requirements To streamline operations and reduce networking costs, many businesses and consumers are turning to service providers for corporate and residential Wide Area Network (WAN) backbone support and Internet access, as well as a range of value-added WAN services, such as fully managed Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), Web management, firewall integration or managed network security. As online service providers (including telecommunications carriers, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and cable television operators) compete to bring businesses and consumers the fastest, cheapest and content-richest Internet/intranet access and other value-added network services, they face a new set of challenges in the areas of infrastructure deployment and expansion, differentiated services capabilities, and new services delivery. As Internet/intranet boundaries continue to disappear and more users demand high-speed access to more bandwidth-intensive applications and technologies anywhere at anytime, both corporate enterprises and service providers increasingly require a more adaptive networking model. These customers need highly scaleable, intelligent, open networks that can dynamically adapt to changing network usage patterns and traffic volume, high-quality information access and exchange, emerging Web and other high-speed technologies as well as a growing use of mission-critical and Internet-based applications, without compromising performance, reliability, security or continued network evolution. At the same time, many organisations are faced with the daunting task of upgrading and expanding internetworks that already include multiple communications protocols and computing platforms in a heterogeneous mix. IP-Optimised World The networking industry is undergoing similar changes to those that revolutionised the mainframe industry, the minicomputer industry and, most recently, the PC industry. Today, computer networking is being re-shaped by other major developments: · convergence on a high-volume standard Internet Protocol (IP) – the ‘grand unifier’ of global network infrastructures, and · cost-effective hardware based on leading-edge ASIC technology. These changes will benefit the user with increased innovation, lower cost, extended product life cycles, and ‘plug-and-play’ interoperability for heterogeneous networks. The first companies to adapt to these trends and incorporate these technologies will reap the time-to-market and customer service advantages because improved information access will set them apart from their competitors. Adaptive Networking Today, the network defines the corporation and is revolutionising the way people work, learn and play by eliminating the constraints of distance and time. As a result, it is critical for organisations not to get locked into proprietary architectures which make the network’s evolution difficult and costly. Through Adaptive Networking, Bay Networks delivers more open, high-level services to customers while reducing the complexity of their networks. Adaptive Networking is the process of building IP-optimised networks that are invisible to users, worry-free for network managers, and strategic for the business. To meet the opportunities and challenges inherent in building IP-optimised networks, Bay Networks is focusing on key cornerstone technologies – switching/routing, access, IP services and network management. These transparent, scaleable technologies ensure long-term, non-disruptive network evolution and investment protection, drive operational productivity at every level of the network, and adapt to continuous changes in network usage and business requirements. The hallmark of Adaptive Networking is the immediate flexibility that the products under its umbrella exhibit to detect and adapt to changes in network traffic types, volumes and requirements – both today and in the future. Given the dependence of enterprises and service providers on their networking infrastructures and the rapid advances in business applications and technology, Adaptive Networking is an essential component of any information technology or service-offering plan. High Level of Flexibility Adaptive Networking’s intelligence is based on a Bay Network’s technology foundation that provides advanced switching solutions that reduce complexity, leading edge access solutions, a constantly expanding expertise in IP services for scalability and flexibility, and world class network management. It recently introduced product lines of Accelar switches and Adapteon access concentrators set the new benchmark standards for high-speed movement of data at competitive prices, and Bay Networks’ Optivity is recognised as the industry leading product in network management. Adaptive Networking offers the greatest flexibility required in all parts of the network – from the campus local area network (LAN), to the WAN or remote access. Furthermore, this high level of flexibility is ensured regardless of whether responsibility for the network rests with the enterprise or has been outsourced to a service provider. Conclusion Bay Networks understands both the opportunities of this IP-optimised world and the challenges of getting there – and Adaptive Networking is its strategy.