According to Lao Tzu, a philosopher of ancient China, nothing is more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it. This saying perfectly describes the type of network shipyards should be equipped with. Adaptive and programmable, similar to the way water takes the shape of any container it is in. A next-generation network should be able to meet the increasing demands placed on converged networking, cloud and enterprise data centres with a single operating system, from core to edge.
Shipbuilding companies need to make the switch to high-density 10 gigabit Ethernet stackable switching solutions to take advantage of today's new virtualised environment; as well as manage Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and the influx of 3-D design data. This transformation will lead to great delivery with a tight integration of servers and storage with the existing computing environment. As a result, shipbuilding companies will see good return on investment (ROI), and have significantly more confidence in the network.
The importance of future-proofing your network cannot be over-emphasised. Open and programmable should be the two pre-requisites when building a next-generation network. With the variety of products and platforms available in the market today, businesses may find it difficult to differentiate between the various solutions. The key rule is to always insist on interoperable solutions and the flexibility to not be locked in to a single vendor. In an industry so reliant on technology, shipbuilding professionals should do a full evaluation of their needs and choose a network partner who can offer them the flexibility, reliability and scalability that is required of next generation networks.
Wilson Lai is Technical Director, Asia Pacific and Japan, Extreme Networks.
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