Part One: Advanced Mobility, Software Defined Tools, and High Availability
With the start of the new calendar year fast approaching and businesses making plans to find new software and technology solutions for employees, now seems to be the perfect time to share the trends and technologies that we believe will drive productivity and build more flexible work environments for our customers in the coming year.
Many IT and Communications Trends from 2013 will be as prevalent this year as last. This portion of our two part blog series on The Smart Enterprise in 2014 covers returning IT and Communications trends that will help you maintain your competitive edge and keep current with the rapidly evolving Unified Communications technologies in today’s marketplace.
As technology has progressed, employee presence in the workplace has evolved. In 2014, employees are going to continue to be mobile, and will be traveling or telecommuting even more than the previous year. These employees will continue to need access to data and applications in non-stationary locales.
As long as this trend continues, your employees will continue to require a fully-functional mobile work environment. To today’s employee, location is unimportant, but presence and status remain crucial.
Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) capabilities offer communication services independent of access technique. FMC supports smartphones as an integrated extension of the company network, meaning it can be accessed from any location at any time via a WiFi connection. Mobile devices can then be used in conjunction with enterprise security credentials—thus simultaneously securing enterprise information and supporting ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) policies.
Software Defined Tools
Software-Deﬁned tools are the definition of new improved standards for infrastructure programmability and data center interoperability. Driven by automation and cloud computing, software defined technologies provide you with simple, cost-effective tools that are built on collaboration.
Software-Deﬁned Networking (SDN), for example, provides technology to extract network architecture and make network devices programmable.
The goal of SDN is to allow network engineers and administrators to respond quickly to changing enterprise conditions. In a software-defined network, a network administrator can shape traffic from a centralized control console without having to touch individual switches. The administrator can change any network switch’s rules when necessary — prioritizing, de-prioritizing, or even blocking specific types of packets with a very granular level of control.
This is especially helpful in a cloud computing multi-tenant architecture because it allows the administrator to manage traffic loads in fast, flexible, and efficient means.
Numerous organizations depend on generic or speciﬁc IT applications in their day to day operation and services, which is why providing these businesses with solutions that provide continuous operation of essential systems is vital for us.
IT has become a matter of providing services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year across countries. As a result, IT systems need to be extremely reliable, and, the application of High Availability in IT systems becomes one of the most important implementations in IT strategies.
IT managers need to protect data and applications, from sudden hardware, OS and application failures to sudden natural disasters. To achieve a high level of operational uptime, infrastructure components must be fault tolerant with the ability to recover from complex failures. This is all the more important in mission-critical environments, such as healthcare, banking, insurance, e-commerce or web services.
A virtualized infrastructure improves business continuity. A clustering solution can be key to continuing the workﬂow on standby systems without stopping business operations when failure strikes. This can be clustering software or fault tolerant server solutions delivering exceptional uptime through dual modular hardware redundancy. These servers provide continuous availability through hardware redundancy in all components: processors, memory, motherboards, I/O, hard disk drives, and cooling fans for optimal data integrity.
While some of these trends will accelerate, others likely won’t. NEC experts, however, expect all of these technologies and developments to help organizations drive productivity and bring new, powerful solutions to businesses everywhere.
Wondering what else NEC experts predict for next year? We’ll continue to uncover what IT and Communications will look like in 2014 in part two of our blog series on The Smart Enterprise.
To learn more about these technologies, download our eBook: Smart Trends Enterprise Trends 2014: 10 Strategic Drivers that Will Empower the Smart Enterprise.