The global pandemic has meant that companies have had to, and still have to, be able to react much more flexibly to new demands. This has been demonstrated in the growing interest in “XaaS” offers, all the way to the network level. The aim is to get into the latest technology fast, but also to be able to get out again more easily and without the need to make major investments. What is particularly exciting here is the concept of the management cloud. In this article, you will learn what is behind this idea and how you can benefit from it.
Managing and monitoring corporate networks has become a complex, time-consuming task. It is easy to lose track of the big picture. At the same time, you need to be able to deploy new digital technologies that your business needs quickly, prevent cyber attacks and make immediate configuration adjustments on a whole host of management platforms. Does that sound familiar?
This is exactly where cloud-based network management comes in. The idea behind it is both simple and ingenious. The operation and installation of devices are simplified by using cloud services. This means that even multi-layered networks can be managed efficiently and with minimal effort via any end devices, e.g. tablets and smartphones. Tools that in the past were needed for configuration, management and monitoring are no longer required; they are merged into a central, location-independent cloud platform. So it's no wonder that cloud-based network management is attracting a lot of interest among Swiss companies.
State-of-the-art network management is coming from the cloud
Managing networks is complicated, no matter whether you are an administrator of one large network or many decentralised networks, administration and monitoring is a challenging job. That's why it's important to make networks more transparent and easier to manage, for example with ExtremeCloud IQ from Extreme Networks.
This makes it easy to operate, expand and monitor complete wireless networks and site networks without the need for IT specialists to be present on-site because configuration and management run directly via the cloud. There is an obvious reason for the ease of use: everything can be controlled from the cloud.
It means a damaged access point can be easily replaced by anyone at all (even without any specialist knowledge) because the configuration is done automatically on-site by communicating with the other access points. Even if there were settings to change, it would be easy to do it remotely – thanks to the cloud.
You can use it to replace complex software applications with user-friendly, cost-effective cloud services, or swap out components with a minimum of effort. Above all, SMEs benefit not just from huge cost savings, but also from a big jump in terms of performance in their management and monitoring functions, which used to be the reserve of bigger companies. Large companies can also benefit from the enormous efficiency gains that a management cloud brings with it for managing multiple small, discrete locations.
The cloud automatically prompts apprehension
In Switzerland, experience has shown that the word “cloud” quickly leads to furrowed brows when it comes to security, but the pandemic has also lessened this “lack of trust”. Nonetheless, many company managers are still fearful that all their data will end up on a server in the US, which means that practically no one can check how well it is protected over there. However, Extreme Networks shows that this can also be done differently, with regional nodes forming the basis for cloud functionality. Data accumulation that is so crucial for machine learning (automatic bug fixing) takes place in Ireland, so all the servers are on EU soil and are subject to EU standards, such as the GDPR. Also, there is a Data Center in Switzerland, and the related information security management is certified under ISO 27001.
Autonomous operation – the goal of the management cloud
The cloud IQ platform also includes ML insights functionality (machine learning) for analysing telemetry data from the devices. This allows models to be created in anonymised form so that operation can be enhanced, for example for troubleshooting wireless network issues. The ultimate goal, as with a range of other network equipment (e.g. Mist from Juniper) is to achieve autonomous network operation.
There will certainly be phased expansion in the coming years, just like the development of autonomous driving: first a distance control, then a lane departure warning system, then a parking assistant, etc. After all, efficient network management is becoming more and more important for companies, especially since growing complexity is an exponentially rising challenge for internal IT.
What are the benefits of an end-to-end cloud management network to you?
These include reduced infrastructure costs, ease of use and improved network security, along with the insights and analytics that unlimited data storage and the increased network reliability that it brings. AI and ML enable this cloud technology to provide IT managers with the means to manage, analyse and efficiently operate their network across Edge, Campus and Data Centre solutions.
What this means for you, in a nutshell, is that ExtremeCloud IQ allows rapid deployment and connectivity management from anywhere in the world. This means you can integrate and manage hundreds of switches and access points in just one click. It also gives your IT department an instant overview of thousands of clients and endpoints. Also, ExtremeCloud IQ can be deployed via Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure, but also on-premise. As a customer, this gives you complete flexibility and freedom of choice, and that is the only way to meet your company's ever-changing requirements.
ExtremeCloud IQ – just try it out for yourself
If you want to judge for yourself, you just have to try it out for yourself. To help you do just that, our partner Extreme Networks is making a free trial version available to you which can be used for a 30 day trial period.
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If you would like to learn more about ExtremeCloud IQ or other Extreme Networks products, please leave us your contact details and we will get back to you.