12 tips to efficiently manage remote location IT
Today’s enterprises store approximately 50 percent of their data in remote and branch offices (ROBO), which equates to a significant proportion of their IT budget.
This means nearly half of today’s IT organisations are using outdated methods of operation which are costly and more complex to manage. Additionally, older architecture can limit an IT department’s ability to react to the modern businesses’ needs, prevent security incidents, and recover from any unscheduled downtime.
With this ever changing environment, enterprises are required to take a fresh approach to branch IT - improving system performance and resiliency, the regular backing up of data, and reducing operational costs. Equipping edge locations has traditionally been all about infrastructure that aims to make employees as productive as possible — enterprises are now having to ask themselves what it takes to manage their remote locations efficiently. What costs are involved with their infrastructure? How is their employee’s productivity and engagement affected by their decisions?
To address these issues, organisations should use the following 12 point checklist, which can be broken down into three sections:
- Infrastructure: What are the technological requirements for modern edge infrastructure?
- Operations: What are the costs associated with implementing edge infrastructure?
- Business values: How can organisations avoid their decisions affecting their bottom line?
To ensure secure and efficient IT in remote and branch offices (ROBO), organisations should ensure the following when planning their infrastructure:
1. Create a separation between compute and data storage: Modern infrastructure separates compute, which should remain at the edge, away from data storage, which should be centrally located. This approach produces a stateless edge and serves to reduce operational challenges and costs.
2. Centralise data storage: Organisations should look to store all of their company data in the data centre where it can be managed and protected with ease. From there, it can be projected to the edge on an as-required basis. This removes sensitive information from vulnerable remote locations, and gives IT teams more control over said data.
3. Unify backup: Edge-based backup can be expensive and prone to errors. Instead, data backups should be located in the data centre, and be automated and continuous. This will ensure backups are reliable and efficient, while significantly reducing costs.
4. Optimise the WAN: Wide area network (WAN) optimisation helps to streamline branch infrastructure by accelerating branch user applications and data traffic across the optimal networks at a reduced cost. WANs can be unreliable and do not offer protection against the creation of localised pockets of systems and information stores, organisations should implement the use of specialised tools that enable the convergence of IT systems and applications with WAN optimisation technologies. This way, they will achieve maximum performance across distance.
5. Encrypt all data: To help protect against cyber threats, all company data should automatically be encrypted both in branch offices as well as in data centres, and when it is in transit between the two.
IT teams need to be able to quickly provision and manage remote infrastructure in a timely and cost-effective way. They can achieve this by ensuring the following:
6. Rapid provisioning: The IT team should be able to update edge locations with new applications and features, and provision a new edge location from the organisation’s central data centre in minutes — without the need for costly and time-consuming onsite visits.
7. Ensure quick ROBO recovery: When an unscheduled outage occurs, rapid recovery is a must to keep business operations up and running. Operations should ideally resume in minutes or hours and with minimal loss of working data, IT needs to be able to initiate the recovery process from the data centre.
8. Safeguard data: From an operational point of view, data encryption should be available at all times, and backups should be reasonably priced, automated, centrally located, and ongoing.
9. Storage in the cloud: In order to avoid heightened storage costs and increased overheads, organisations should reduce and eliminate storage in edge locations, rendering them stateless edges. A good way to achieve this is by utilising cloud storage’s low costs.
In order to satisfy infrastructure related business needs, organisations should ask themselves several questions: Does their infrastructure help them stay competitive and act quickly when necessary? Can the business meet the customers’ needs when required? How can the organisation reduce the time taken to bring a product to market? How does your infrastructure investment drive business return of investment?
10. Ensure employees productivity: IT departments can contribute to increasing employees’ productivity by encouraging and enabling them to access applications, updated data and information.
11. Accomplish business continuity: If a disaster strikes, IT should be able to quickly recover data and applications. The team should also have the tools needed to shift operations to a different region with minimal loss of time or data.
12. Encourage business agility: The organisation’s infrastructure should let the business respond to changing market conditions by quickly provisioning users with new applications and features. It should also provide the ability to quickly open new locations in order to take advantage of new opportunities, allowing employees to work virtually anywhere.
Remote offices and branch offices are critical to the modern enterprise, businesses need to embrace the new era of technologies and ways of thinking when evaluating their edge IT systems and infrastructure. Remote location IT allows for operational cost savings, rapid service deployment, and instant recovery. By ensuring that the right tools and processes are in place, enterprises can ensure the security, resilience and flexibility they need to meet today’s modern business needs.
By Joe Bombagi, Director of SteelFusion, EMEA and APJ, Riverbed Technology
NetNumber: Time for a cloud-native transformation
NetNumber is accelerating the transition in the telecom industry to 5G as it starts a shift to cloud-native architecture to address the fast-paced demands of global subscribers and businesses.
NetNumber is offering the industry’s first cloud-native platform designed to ensure InterGENerational™ network performance addresses both the legacy and next-generation requirements of telecom networks.
“NetNumber has developed the industry’s most robust cloud-native, InterGENerational platform that addresses both the legacy and 5G requirements of telcos,” said Matt Rosenberg, Chief Revenue Officer of NetNumber.
The platform provides vertical and horizontal scale-out with low latency, coupled with a suite of data replication capabilities, which provide flexible architectural options that can evolve with the changing network over time.
“Cloud-based solutions from other vendors tend to be limited in terms of supporting particular network generations or protocols. We’ve created our latest platform TITAN.IUM to allow customers to take any generation of applications, any generation of legacy services and protocols and move them into the new world of cloud-native architecture,” said Rosenberg.
“This is a really important part for a carrier to harmonise their network, bring data services together, bring legacy with new together in order to make a more effective and efficient network, as well as reduce their cost as they scale forward,” he said.
Established in 1999, NetNumber has fostered a strong team environment that leverages the industry’s best skills to offer software solutions tailored for carriers of all dimensions. Based outside of Boston and with presence in over 20 countries, the company delivers a range of products that address all generations (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G) of network functions in the core network, deep rooted security products and services, STIR/ SHAKEN and set of options around data services in more than 90 countries.
Steeped in experience in building telecom solutions, software, protocol stacks, and integration of third party tools, the company’s development organisation has proven to supply to the industry with the most reliable and flexible solutions on the market.
“At NetNumber, we focus on our core competencies – we are dedicated to providing industry expertise in signaling, routing, security, subscriber management and data services. We provide customers a strong ROI through platform-based solutions that reduce Capex and Opex in the long-term,” commented Rosenberg.
Five reasons why customers choose NetNumber:
- Expertise - NetNumber has experts with deep knowledge in signaling/routing, security, and subscriber database management.
- Integration - An industry-first platform brings together domain services, applications, security, and global data services.
- Scale - NetNumber has the ability to seamlessly increase network efficiency using vertical and horizontal scaling.
- Speed - World-class solutions have the power to help companies create new service offerings and accelerate time to ROI.
- Savings - Customers enjoy significant savings in capex and opex, flexible deployment models, and investment protection.
NetNumber and Virgin Mobile MEA
“We're very proud of our partnership with Virgin Mobile MEA as they've taken the concept of the InterGENerational platform into their regional network strategy,” commented Rosenberg. “That’s accelerated how they develop exceptional services across the Middle East and Africa region.
“We work with them hand-in-hand to deliver multiple applications onto our platform which has enabled them to provide exceptional, advanced and innovative services to their customers across the Middle East, who demand high quality services.
“What they've really taken advantage of is scale. What I mean by that is they are putting multiple generations of applications and services onto the same platform and distributing that data across their network. That has resulted in an advantageous position of time to market and operational savings.
“Rather than having different applications for many different vendors that cause operational chaos, they've been able to consolidate that and reduce their operating costs by having everything on one common architecture. We’ve had a long-term relationship with Virgin Mobile in Saudi Arabia, and recently signed an agreement with Virgin Mobile in Kuwait.”
Rosenberg says that with these solutions, Virgin Mobile MEA can take advantage of getting to the market much quicker and faster—which is what today’s discerning customer demands.