The Challenge Facing General Purpose Enterprise Networks

Because today’s general purpose network architectures were not designed for the demands of Unified Communications, the traditional tactics for enhancing network performance—adding more hardware, upgrad¬ing to faster processors, increasing bandwidth—can actually intensify problems, such as “server creep” and “configuration drift.”

  • Resiliency is achieved on traditional networks, but only through the addition of large numbers of under-utilized links, equipment, and even entire “architectural tiers.” Sorting through these connections in the event of a failure can cause an unacceptable break in performance for real-time applications.
  • Network management is possible—but only through the proliferation of multiple, incompatible manage¬ment platforms that do not permit a single-pane, end-to-end view of network performance.
  • Wireless LAN structures are extended—but at the cost of additional hardware and management expense and, ultimately, serious scalability limitations that will limit the ability to take full advantage of real time voice and video traffic over the WLAN.

The net effect of these and other issues is higher network TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). Taking an inher¬ently inefficient, over-engineered approach to network challenges absorbs more resources, delivering less and less performance while incurring more and more expense. Enterprises that continue to rely on these general purpose architectures will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage to enterprises that have made the shift to what Avaya calls Fit for Purpose networks—networks designed for the realities of today’s distributed, collaborative enterprise.

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