The Wide Area Network (WAN) is a critical part of any successful enterprise operation. When the WAN runs smoothly, businesses can communicate effectively and data is free-flowing. However, when there are problems with the WAN, productivity can be hindered and communications with clients and vendors can come to a screeching halt. So what types of issues are encountered when a WAN is not operating at peak performance, and what can we do to fix them? Let’s look at some of today’s top enterprise WAN challenges, and what your organization can do to implement appropriate solutions to meet those challenges - head on.
Bring your own Device (BYOD), malware, ransomware, spam and viruses are just a few of the many network security challenges that organizations face on a daily basis. And a lack of standardized endpoints complicates the implementation of a sound security policy all the more. When companies are able to properly secure their WANs, they extend the benefits of that security not only to their employees but their customers and vendors as well.
A managed network security solution like MaxxSecure can control internet usage and bandwidth activity to ensure peak network performance. It also provides business continuity through a geographically-dispersed MPLS infrastructure and a multitude of carrier connections, guarding against single failure points. To handle the issue of BYOD and diverse devices, VPN access can enforce BYOD policies while giving remote users access to internal apps and data across the WAN network.
Network Reliability and Outages
For any WAN to be effective, it must remain stable and dependable. Replacing legacy or failed equipment costs time, resources and interruptions to productivity. Internet providers, with single points of entry to your facilities, can experience outages, causing loss of network WAN connectivity. So with aging onsite equipment and instability with single internet carriers, how is this task to be accomplished?
A key WAN challenge in 2017, will be for service providers to deliver MPLS-class reliability, with top-quality application experiences, over geographic distances. Companies need to consider converged network solutions like Maxxis Application Network to experience high network performance, flexibility, and resiliency. Maxxis uses a variety of Tier 1 carriers to guarantee network coverage across the globe. It also provides intelligent application routing for improved performance compared to single-carrier networks. And to ensure the network remains highly available, 24/7/365 proactive monitoring takes place with support from Cisco-certified engineers.
According to a recent article from International Data Corporation (IDC), WAN technologies have grown in capability but also complexity. IT staff are now responsible for managing multiple architecture types such as Layer 2 or Layer 3 VPNs, plus wide-range data access and a variety of operating systems, device types, and storage platforms. As a result, IT managers are moving to outsourced management of branch offices and their WANs.
Today’s enterprise WAN consists of cloud-based services running across the Internet for applications and updated technologies. IT managers must be equipped to integrate onsite systems with those based in the cloud - with seamless integration for stable performance. The requirements to manage the WAN haven’t changed, but the mechanisms used to implement, allocate, operate, manage and monitor the WAN have evolved.
Complex technology platforms, regulations, and compliance requirements can add costs to managing multinational operations. Therefore, it makes sense to transition this support and management need to a managed network service provider. This transition allows companies to focus on their business versus managing staff members across multiple companies. Using a partner like West allows for 24/7/365 support in a Cisco-certified Network Operations Center (NOC). It also provides the ability to have in-depth proactive network monitoring deployed to ensure LAN and WAN operations run optimally.
Consistent Mobile User Experience
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the mobile workforce makes up around 40 percent of the global workforce. As a result, the need to put a centralized and consistent mobile policy in place at companies has moved up on the IT priority to-do list. Authentication methods need to be addressed and kept similar to in-office logons. Also, access to comparable apps and functionality should be maintained.
IT Managers often run into device management challenges when business-line managers authorize device purchases for other departments, where device choices are non-standardized and unsecured. Companies need the ability to implement device management policies and solutions that will unify device management and facilitate a consistent and secure user experience across the enterprise. Products like VoiceMaxx CE, Cisco Jabber, Microsoft Office 365 and Cisco Spark Hybrid provide standardized interfaces to securely enable your workforce to connect from almost anywhere, anytime with voice, video and messaging.
Whatever future challenges face enterprise WANs tomorrow, West will be there to help your company get through them. Partner with us today for a customized WAN solution that will keep your network running smoothly and steadily through the ages.