The announcement by Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) of its Unified Access solution— which incorporates not just Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) hardware and software enhancements but also the integration of capabilities from partners Aruba Networks (News - Alert) and Citrix— enabling true convergence at the intra-enterprise campus networking level is I noted the big missing piece in construction of a true end-to-end high performance, secure and resilient IT network.
Yes that was a long opening sentence. However, it was relevant given the significance of us finally have a converged enterprise solution that works seamlessly between wired and wireless nets with all of the bells and whistles IT needs to manage it.
As I noted in my coverage of the announcement, unified access and the term convergence have been around for so long that the terms have almost become cliché. The promise for inside the enterprise has been mostly promise, and the advent of virtualization, the cloud and mobility at times looked like it was kicking the can of a solution further down the road. Yet, it is those immutable trends now driving the relevance and need for unified access. In fact, what used to look like a huge expense in search of a problem can now be viewed as an investment worth making sooner rather than latter for a host of very significant reasons. These include:
- IT visibility and control
- Security and overall risk management
- Network resiliency and availability
- Empowering and extending the effectiveness of the remote workforce
- Enhanced operational excellence
The challenge now is that in the era of mobility, device and application freedom, networks are often not prepared to support the flexibility these technologies demand. Couple this with the IT team’s restricted budgets, the increased operational complexity, and the security threat exposure, and we are seeing a perfect storm exploding and not merely just brewing for today’s enterprise network. With wireless use growing at double digit rates and wired access continuing to be a critical part of the enterprise infrastructure, users want the freedom and flexibility to be able to connect whether they are wired or wireless. Plus, as BYOD expands, network users want to be able to connect regardless of device type they are using.
Realities are that wired and wireless have to coexist. To reach real user freedom, we need to make sure all network services are seamlessly available on both networks. Users should be able to choose between corporate and personal devices and use either wired or wireless connections. At the same time IT rightly needs to have visibility and control over this rapidly expanding and dispersed environment. Wireless networks have greatly benefited from advances in security and technology but LANs have been left behind. How can you bring these typically siloed networks into one cohesive access network?
Unified Access is the answer but you obviously have lots of questions. It is for this reason that you are invited to join me for a very timely webinar to be held Oct. 30, 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT, called “Unified Access Cannot Be Ignored – But Can You Afford to Do It?”
I will be joined by Forrester (News - Alert) Senior Analyst Andre Kindness, Serving Infrastructure & Operations Professionals, and Heitor Faroni, Director Solutions Marketing Network Business, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise as we discuss the importance of having a Unified Access strategy, and the potential risks and benefits involved in transforming your network infrastructure to support this strategy.
Topics to be detailed include important considerations in this transformation process:
- Different network purchasing lifecycles, professional services expertise, end-to-end transformation potentially including WLAN, LAN access, LAN core and BYOD services
- Security and operational considerations: Security on the LAN, minimizing operational tasks with BYOD services such as on-boarding, guest access, device posture, mix of personal and corporate applications
There will also be a discussion of best practices and recommendations that will protect your investment in a more, versatile and agile/responsive network infrastructure and increase it value as an enabler of enterprise operational excellence competitiveness.
The webinar is asking as question as to whether you can afford unified access. Maybe a more precursor to that one would be “How can I become informed as to how to answer the first question?” Here is a helpful hint. Join us on the webinar.
Edited by Alisen Downey