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Networks: The digital backbone of tomorrow’s technology

Tricia Png, Director of Asia, Silver Peak | Feb. 23, 2015
Tricia Png of Silver Peak explores the relation between the WAN, and technology trends in 2014 such as BYOD, Big data and IoT.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Much virtual ink had been expended on emerging and dominant technologies in 2014. Even till today, the debate rages on: analysts continue to weigh security, privacy and financial concerns against the business benefits of big data and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Elsewhere, like-minded experts are discussing similar fears, while advocates for the Internet of Things (IoT) tout its advantages.

However, one key component that has not received due attention from this discourse is the underlying network. Whether it comes in the form of a wired connection or Wi-Fi, the Wide Area Network (WAN) is perhaps the only one indispensable factor that big data, BYOD and IoT have in common. Adoption for these technologies show no signs of slowing down, so they will continue to contribute massively to the modern data deluge and exert further pressure on the enterprise network.

In order to get a better understanding of just how important quality networks, stable connectivity and unabated transfer rates are, we must first understand how each technology interacts with and impacts the network.

Big data: Information and network overload?

A quick peek into research company Gartner's glossary reveals what constitutes big data. Big data is "high-volume, high-velocity and high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making." In layman terms, big data is processing and analyzing monstrous quantities of fast flowing raw information to ultimately gain business intelligence.

For the longest time, big data has been dominating the headlines of newspapers and conversations in the boardroom. Now, Asia Pacific is finally gearing up for it. A Gartner report predicts that 960,000 IT jobs will be created in the region to support big data by 2015. Furthermore, each big data-related role will spawn employment for three people outside of IT, making it a total of 4 million jobs in Asia Pacific alone.

However, while more help is on the way, enterprise IT professionals face significant challenges when dealing with moving this data over distance. The increasing volume and velocity of data transfers between long distance locations has become a focal point. The required aggregation of data for analytics, as well as the back-up and replication of that data, means IT professionals must content with bandwidth and other network issues.

BYOD: Not always used for work!

Research firm IDC defines BYOD as "devices that users have personally purchased with their own funds, without help from the employer. The employer is not obligated to subsidize any part of the device nor is it responsible for supporting the devices' hardware and software".


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