It has become a complex, difficult task to manage and monitor corporate networks. New applications and IoT devices need to be integrated into the corporate network immediately, and new digital technologies and cloud services have to be delivered. It is easy to lose track of things, and new security risks emerge even faster. Many companies would like a central management platform. In this article, we show you how the entire network can be managed with just one console.
IT is growing, and so are the challenges
You know what it's like – the technical infrastructure has grown organically over many years, with different solutions coming from different suppliers. Your IT department manages the central IT infrastructure to the best of its ability. At the same time, the network and the complexity associated with it is constantly growing. In the age of the Internet of Things (IoT) new devices are constantly being added, especially at the network edge, and these have to be integrated. Network security or stability must not be compromised. Without a comprehensive management solution, it is almost impossible to maintain such a broad range of components, to constantly connect additional components and to guarantee network stability and security.
Complexity is a major security risk
So it is not all that surprising that for years now, compatibility problems have been identified as the biggest security risks. These include high hurdles in system integration, enormous requirements in terms of expertise for operating the IT landscape, and the growing shortage of skilled staff. As a result, the people who are responsible often fail to maintain an overview and do not have complete control over individual measures. The sheer variety of the hardware, software and processes used means that the expense of maintenance and servicing is constantly on the rise. Ensuring smooth operation is becoming a major challenge. This is becoming a bigger and bigger challenge for administrators and can even lead to overload. Are you familiar with this problem too? On top of that, the different management systems only provide partial information. The lack of a comprehensive overview means that key information and indicators can be easily overlooked. It's a vicious circle, one with potentially devastating consequences. Security managers cannot follow up on every single warning because they simply lack the experts, tools and automated solutions they need to extract the actual critical warnings and look into what is causing them.
… all against one
IT and security teams these days are facing a tough situation. They are expected to implement new applications and enterprise digitisation initiatives as quickly as possible and to ensure reliable protection for these critical applications and data in increasingly complex and hybrid networks. There is certainly no shortage of examples at the moment, such as remote access and collaboration platforms. At the same time, the threat landscape is becoming more and more perilous. If new applications are not tested well enough before they are installed and outdated hardware and software are used, this creates additional entry points for cyber criminals. When new applications are introduced or a service is moved to the cloud, it can take days or even weeks for all the servers and network segments to communicate with each other. At the same time, access by unauthorised users must be prevented at all costs.
Policy management is complex and subject to errors
But when teams make changes to these devices, they must ensure that they do not break connectivity between applications or introduce security and compliance breaches. The complexity of today's networks makes it a given that many organisations are having to grapple with this task. Last year's survey on security management for hybrid and multi-cloud environments revealed that over 40 per cent of companies were suffering application and network failures due to human error or misconfigurations. Furthermore, most companies have comprehensive network security policies for their firewalls and routers with thousands if not millions of rules. Getting rid of one of these rules is often a very tricky business, as often the IT groups are unable to say why the rule even exists.
It's not a wish, it's reality
The call is growing ever louder for a solution to be provided that can integrate all locations and components into a uniform network solution, one that is capable of managing a very disparate IT infrastructure in a user-friendly, secure and cost-effective manner, and that can guarantee the high levels of performance required.
Without a centralised, comprehensive management solution, it is virtually impossible to support the wide variety of components in use today, and to be constantly adding and connecting new systems, while at the same time guaranteeing network stability and security. However, it is also essential to have an open, flexible solution that allows you to freely choose manufacturers and components, while at the same time ensuring that there is centralised control of the IT infrastructure and high levels of security, as well as the option to expand the network infrastructure at any time without incurring huge costs.
Extreme Management Center (XMC) – a platform for everyone
XMC allows you to manage your entire network from a central management console, irrespective of whether it's Extreme solutions or third party products from Palo Alto, Fortinet etc.! The Management Center delivers everything you need for network visibility, transparency and control, and does so centrally with a single view from the edge to the data centre. XMC enables you to keep your network and firewalls under control, reduce administration costs and gain both time and transparency!
Insight into XMC
The following video gives you an insight into the Extreme Management Center:
You see, XMC provides the transparency, control and security needed for your network.