Meeting the demands of today’s agile business models
As the number of distributed locations increases in today’s cloud-ready world, the management thereof becomes increasingly complex. This is why a cloud-based DDI solution is necessary.
The rapid evolution of technology means that networks today are changing. After all, mobile devices are a significant part of daily life, the Internet of things (IOT) continues to expand and business applications and services are rapidly shifting to the cloud. This means the number of distributed locations – and the devices within them – are increasing dramatically, while at the same time, users are demanding greater access, faster response times and more reliable connections.
Taking into account the fact that these mobile, IOT and cloud solutions are sensitive to latency and are heavily dependent on reliable infrastructures, it seems logical to suggest that organisations utilising such solutions should seek to consolidate the visibility, administration and control of their distributed locations into a single interface.
This is especially important, says Dean Wolson, Country Manager – Africa at Infoblox, because the current network expansion is not taking place in the data centre, but rather at the edge. This is increasing the scope and complexity of network and device management, which in turn is pushing the limits of today’s IT organisations.
“These trends and the expectations behind them are pressing organisations to rethink their processes and deployment models to improve the level and quality of services they deliver. However, many lack the time, resources or both to evaluate and implement these improvements. Therefore, easy-to-deploy, comprehensive solutions that are optimised to improve access, availability and performance for distributed environments have become vital tools for success,” says Wolson.
“The answer, essentially, is a centralised, cloud-based, provisioning, management and control solution, designed with the modern borderless enterprise in mind. This is what is needed to eliminate the management complexity and bottlenecks of the traditional branch office DDI.”
DDI is the integration of domain name system (DNS), dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) and IP address management (IPAM) into a unified service or solution, he explains, adding that moving DDI control and management to the cloud should vastly simplify networking for branch locations.
“Not only should DDI in the cloud deliver unprecedented cost efficiencies, but it should also be a solution that directs traffic to the closest software as a service (SaaS) entry point, in order to improve performance and ensure the survivability of distributed locations, in the event of a lost connection to the data centre.”
“The importance of this to a wide range of industries should not be underestimated. For example, banks and financial institutions obviously want to modernise their branches, minimise downtime and provide always-on access to a growing number of cloud-based banking, lending and investment applications.”
Furthermore, explains Wolson, retailers need to provide a consistent online experience, no matter where the user connects or how they make purchases, while healthcare facilities need rapid, uninterrupted access to patient records. At the same time, however, they must follow strict compliance guidelines, particularly as the integration between hospitals, health clinics and rehabilitation centres increases.
“Moreover, DDI in the cloud can help businesses overcome issues of backhaul latency, inefficient device-centric provisioning and a lack of visibility. The absence of the latter makes managing security a complex endeavour.
“As a cloud-native offering, a DDI solution of this type will help the business to further reduce costs, simplify branch networking, deliver agility to these branches, optimise application performance and deliver the global visibility and consolidated monitoring required to effectively manage security.”
It should be noted, continues Wolson, cloud-based DDI management also makes life easier for network administrators, as it enables them to centrally and automatically provision, manage and control policy for all remote locations. From a customer perspective, it allows a business to align more closely with client needs, supports location-aware services, offers great scalability in terms of its business apps and can secure remote employee access to cloud-based apps.
“In a rapidly evolving and digitally transforming world, cloud-based DDI can meet the most demanding needs of today’s agile business models, connecting and protecting applications and services anywhere at any scale. Moreover, it offers centralised, cloud-based automation for provisioning, management and visibility, geo-local resolution of cloud-based applications and services and ensures the local survivability of remote sites, in the event these get cut off from headquarters.
“Increasingly, organisations are deploying software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) as a way to deliver a simpler experience for their branch office networks. By adding a cloud-based DDI platform into the mix, businesses are able to extend the simplicity and agility provided by SD-WAN to a number of additional layers of the enterprise edge, increasing access, response times and reliability,” concludes Wolson.