Over the past several months I’ve attended conferences, spoken with industry leaders and listened to a lot of partners, all in an effort to get the pulse of our industry and the technology we rely on. As the CEO of Ecessa, this information helps me understand industry trends, customer realities and how best to meet future needs, not just those pain points of today. It is my pleasure to share my observations with you.
The Network Edge
Of the myriad topics covered, including the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies, one thing is clear: businesses need to rethink the network edge. Security concerns, new bandwidth, opportunities to reduce costs of MPLS and legacy connections, and the ever-increasing need for resilience all factor into the need for improved network architecture at the edge.
SD-WAN is one component of that edge architecture gaining acceptance and a richer set of features. It has moved from the domain of innovators and early adopters and has crossed Geoffrey Moore’s chasm to mainstream adoption. It used to be the cool, new technology understood by few, and now it’s part of most enterprise network discussions. From the core benefit of eliminating network outages to maintaining control of the WAN, to securely integrating new bandwidth and replacing or augmenting MPLS, SD-WAN has solidly proven its value in the marketplace.
In a recent interview with ChannelPro, I emphasized that it all starts with getting world class resiliency so your network is never down, that you always have connectivity to the internet and your cloud services. This is vitally important for channel partners and managed service providers to offer to their clients as they migrate business critical applications to the cloud. You can listen to the podcast here.
Security, Security, Security
Security is paramount. Every conversation, every keynote speech this spring included the importance of enhanced network security — at the edge, at the end points, and at the core. We’ve seen new services offered, companies updating firewalls, implementing security with SD-WAN and planning for security with IoT.
When touching a network, security must be top of mind. We’re seeing virtually all SD-WAN vendors include security of some kind in their offerings, some more mature than others.
For many organizations, particularly those in regulated industries like banking and healthcare, specific aspects of SD-WAN architecture matter for the sake of compliance. Fortune magazine included a feature on SD-WAN deployments in its May edition. In it, I’m quoted as saying, “Ecessa’s full-service, midmarket, premises-based SD-WAN solution avoids reliance on third-party cloud services, gateways, or controllers, ensuring maximum security and control for a Never Down® network that’s regulatory compliant.” We can point to many banks who rely on Ecessa SD-WAN technology to improve network performance, eliminate outages and achieve required compliance, specifically PCI. You can read about them here.
There has been a lot of futuristic talk about Artificial Intelligent or Augmented Intelligence (both referred to as AI). It may seem visionary at this point, but like IoT, AI will insert itself into our lives and the business networks we recommend and support. There will be opportunities emerging with the maturity of this new technology, but like anything new, it will take time and demonstrated value to show a clear path for broader adoption. When thinking about AI and future business impacts, go back one section and think “Security.” It’s something to keep an eye on.
IoT is gaining more traction and the prominence of smart sensors, devices and integrated systems makes implementing IoT more real today than ever. Deployment and support of these systems beyond DIYers will take more focus, but has a bright future as businesses will want to take advantage of the visibility, ease and convenience these systems provide. Like SD-WAN, this technology is quickly moving from “Prove it to me,” to, “Deploy it for me.”
The common thread here? While many of these technologies are still in their infancy, networking professionals and trusted technology partners must ask themselves, “Am I future proofing my network for security, for resilience, for IoT and AI?” The good news is, they can look to SD-WAN and the maturing network edge for help. Ecessa will be driving more intelligence into the network edge to meet the needs of today and tomorrow. I’d like to know your opinions on this. Send me your thoughts.
Mike Siegler, CEO of Ecessa Corporation holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics, a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, and a Master of Science degree in the Management of Technology (MoT). He has worked in engineering and technology development for the last 20 years at firms such as Digi International, Seagate Technology, Medtronic, General Electric and United Technologies. Mike welcomes your comments.