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8 Signs It’s Time for a Network Upgrade

Today’s technology innovations are enabling business to work faster and smarter than ever before. Cloud and mobility are helping companies create flexibility, scalability and productivity never seen before. There opportunity is there to enable your business, but an aging network can be like an anchor dragging your organization down. On the other hand, updating your network can seem like a costly and inconvenient endeavor that would interrupt business operations. Companies should do a risk/benefit analysis to determine if it is time to invest in the resources needed to overhaul your network. Watch for these signs as they are indicators that it’s time to update your organization’s network.

Today’s technology innovations are enabling business to work faster and smarter than ever before. Cloud and mobility are helping companies create flexibility, scalability and productivity never seen before. There opportunity is there to enable your business, but an aging network can be like an anchor dragging your organization down. On the other hand, updating your network can seem like a costly and inconvenient endeavor that would interrupt business operations. Companies should do a risk/benefit analysis to determine if it is time to invest in the resources needed to overhaul your network. Watch for these signs as they are indicators that it’s time to update your organization’s network.

  1. The Data Center is Evolving.When it comes to networking and the data center, both the throughput and volume of data has evolved. Today’s data centers are being built with hyperconverged technology that has expanded from 1GB to 50GB, 100GB or even larger environments.  If you are depending on a network that was deployed pre hyperconverged or even 1st generation hyperconverged, that network was simply were not built to support the amount of traffic that exists today. What you will start to notice is that there is just too much latency with your applications and the network can’t handle the traffic without the intelligent routing and packet optimization that come inherently with new networking standards. Holding on to an aging network can cause an actual slow down of productivity and can eventually lead to lost data.
  2. The network is bending under the weight of devices.Network management was much easier when only a set amount of desktop computers was on an organization’s network. Mobility in the modern workplace has changed the paradigm. Now, users expect that they will not be tethered to a single location. This creates additional demands on the average enterprise network, with more devices using additional bandwidth, Network managers’ jobs are tougher than they’ve ever been. Today’s network professionals need the right technology and tools to manage the colossal number of devices linked to their network. Trying to solve continual bandwidth issues with aging network infrastructure, in particular, wireless networks that were installed when networking mapping was in its infancy, generally leads to higher costs and complexity. Newer infrastructure on the other hand is specially designed to accommodate many devices while providing network admins better tools to manage the network.
  3. Apps keep malfunctioning because your infrastructure doesn’t work well with modern technologyNetworks that were built even 5 years ago were not setup to support the amount of applications on networks today. They were kept on servers and could be monitored, but as organizations have grown less reliant on a single location to communicate and execute tasks, apps have become integral to modern networking. Outdated network infrastructure simply lacks the bandwidth to support the apps that keep the organization running. Consequently, apps are likely to stall, stop working, or even lose your data and cause damage to the actual app. If your apps are not performing as well as they used to, it’s time to upgrade your network as they’ve outgrown this infrastructure.
  4. Network maintenance leave no time for innovation.A base amount of maintenance is to be expected with any enterprise-grade network. However, if your team is consistently putting out fires with end users continuing to complain about their inability to be productive, you should ask yourself if holding on to aging tech is actually costing the company more. Excessive maintenance needs can lead to decreased innovation and frustration from the corner office. If you are continually maintaining old infrastructure and facing end-of-life equipment, you need to take a hard look at the TCO and consider that a upgrade may be imminent.
  5. Visibility is poor, putting the organization at risk for cyberattacks.Are you able to see what’s happening in your network? Do you know who is accessing it and what device they are using? Before the large boom of cybersecurity threats, networks were not built with security needs in mind, that’s where firewalls and UTM devices came in.  With the sophistication that exists today, organizations need to understand who and what is on your network, as well as what they are doing within your environment.Aging wireless infrastructure simply wasn’t built for the complexities of today’s technology, including the invasion of IoT. Even smaller networked devices like multi-function printers or IoT wearables can present a cybercriminal entry point. It’s imperative that you’re aware of who is connecting to your network and where from, as failure to do so can result in a breach that could permanently damage your data and operations. Solutions like Aruba ClearPass can provide a singular, top-down view of who is accessing the network and help assess vulnerabilities all in one place. Aging networks present serious security concerns. Updating your network can vastly improve your security stance by increasing visibility and context throughout your network.
  6. Latency issues are persistent.During especially busy hours of operation or peak periods (e.g. holiday shopping or an article going viral) it’s normal for networks to experience delays. But if network latency is becoming frequent, it’s signaling that the time for upgrading is here. Your organization will hit a tipping point when employees can’t get their work done and customers become fed up with delays in your applications. Newer network equipment can deliver faster speeds with better ability to handle traffic spikes, keeping your end users happy and productive.
  7. Your network equipment is too dated to get consistent carrier support.All technology is on a path to obsolescence, and network systems are no exception. Depending on your organization’s technological needs, an older network may have been an adequate solution and your output might even be unaffected right now. However, as network providers continue to advance their technology offerings, they stop supporting and servicing older equipment, making replacement parts virtually impossible to find and support extremely expensive.The good news is that if your equipment is going end of life, there are generally better deals to be had. Upgrading your network vs trying to support aging technology can actually save you money in the long run. Lest we forget that technological obsolescence can easily lead to organizational obsolescence.
  1. Your network is struggling integrating with new technology.Technology is changing at a rapid pace and your network must be able to keep up. Changing technology like cloud integration, applications needs, and varied data sets continue to pose challenges for traditional networks. Aging technology simply cannot handle the new integrations needed and tend to require excessive manual upkeep. Bottlenecks abound due to the sheer amount of data trying to push through your network, to the cloud, from the cloud, to the application etc. Newer infrastructure with intelligent routing provides faster speed and better automated traffic decisions, delivering improved performance for the needs of a modern day business.

Upgrading your network can seem like a daunting and costly endeavor that will cause a major disruption to operations you can’t afford but ask yourself if your aging equipment is costing you more. As legacy networks become more obsolete, upgrading your data network becomes inevitable and acting on it as soon as you see any of the problems described can prevent incredibly expensive and destructive problems from arising.

Today’s technology providers can help you limit business interruptions, increase your TCO and create a network that allows you to innovate rather than maintain. Let Comport perform a custom assessment of your current network to determine where efficiencies can be found! Contact us today to speak to one of our network architecture experts.

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