By Chet Patel, President, BT in Continental Europe.
Have you ever set off on a journey and accidently told the sat nav not to use motorways or toll roads? I have. When I looked at my journey when I eventually got home, it was a long windy route of slow backroads. Picturesque if you have the time, but not the journey I was expecting.
Well, if you apply that analogy to our networks, the toll road could be your private network and the back roads the internet.
The internet offers a great opportunity for your network. It offers greater reach, it offers low costs and it offers access to cloud services. But it doesn’t come with the same service levels, the same capability and the same security levels that your private network offers.
But MPLS is dead, right? Well, some people in our market say so. But not me. I believe you need a mix of MPLS and internet services, a hybrid network. Just like our nation’s roads, important or urgent applications can take the toll roads, or MPLS, whereas lower priority traffic, those Sunday drivers, can take the back roads or internet.
MPLS is needed more than ever as internet and cloud services open up new security threats within your organisation. It is needed more than ever because of the growth in bandwidth needed for all our connected devices and complex applications.
We are actually seeing a huge growth in our overall port speed provided through MPLS as we look to provide cloud connectivity and new voice and video services.
But the use of internet bound traffic is growing just as rapidly. The internet is the new utility you can’t survive without. It offers the opportunity to reduce costs but only where you are willing to accept its shortcomings.
A hybrid network should offer flexibility, choice and future proofing. In short, they should be dynamic.
The arrival of software defined networking and network function virtualisation give us a whole new way to build and manage corporate networks that are fit for the digital age. It’s the sum of the parts; secure and resilient fixed networks plus digitally delivered software to create a dynamic network service.
Growth in SD-WAN services will support the move to a new hybrid network, but organisations should look to use suppliers who can offer a broad range of network services which come together in one solution, combining MPLS, Internet and SD-WAN services to create a network ready for the digital age.
With our Cloud of Clouds strategy, we are already enabling businesses to take full advantage of cloud computing and services. Now, with our new secure and resilient networking vision and our Dynamic Network Services roadmap, we’re helping CIOs extend all the flexibility and agility of the cloud to their global communications infrastructure, and build a business that can flourish in the digital age.