5 Best Practices for Network Design

By Ryan Benator May 16, 2022

Remember when network design utilized the on-premises data center as the central hub? Well, those days are long gone. New technologies, increased cloud adoption, applications, remote and roaming workers and a myriad of other factors have made traditional WAN networks practically obsolete, as they can no longer keep up with online business and IT demands.

The latest stats prove this point. According to BetterCloud, it is expected that by 2025, 85 percent of business applications will be SaaS-based. Legacy WAN networks have already become complex to manage, especially if your organization is looking to adopt new technology to access cloud applications. This marriage of old and new can drive up costs, increase downtime and lead to increased security risks, not to mention having a negative impact on user experience and workforce productivity.

If your organization needs a network revamp, here are five ivision best practices for your new network design.

1. Switch to a Software-defined Wide Area Network

Organizations turn to SD-WAN to improve connectivity, reduce costs and simplify network management, especially when their workforce is remote or distributed. An SD-WAN provides end-to-end visibility through analytics and access policies, increasing the agility of the network.

With a SD-WAN through ivision, businesses get a carrier-grade solution that delivers secure, direct cloud access from the branch to the cloud and a predictable application experience – music to the ears of IT professionals everywhere. There’s also one user interface for security and connectivity across the entire network ecosystem.

We offer SD-WAN as a Service to help control your network traffic through real-time monitoring, increased security performance updates and top-notch orchestration capabilities.

 2. Improve Network Resilience

Your network is the sole platform that binds, protects and enables the full functionality of your organization. From an increasingly dynamic and distributed set of users to disaggregated and dispersed applications and workloads, the network is the key aspect in building business resilience.

A resilient network is an advanced platform that responds quickly to changing circumstances while fully supporting digital transformation initiatives, which is incredibly necessary in a post-pandemic world. Resiliency also means the network allows for new operating models and services, integrates easily with IT processes, and most importantly, safeguards employees, core activities, customers and the brand.

 3. Adopt a Multicloud Networking Strategy

To ensure a consistent experience for users and DevOps teams, organizations will do well by adopting a multicloud networking strategy. There are three main pillars for a successful multicloud scheme: workload, access and security.

For workload, the multicloud operating model simplifies the policies, security and management of workloads and services across data centers, disparate clouds and other computing environments. SD-WAN and SASE approaches help ensure secure access for devices and users on both corporate and public networks no matter where the endpoints are – at the business, branch, home or on the road.

Lastly, a multicloud approach reduces the security risks associated with users, devices and applications when they are distributed across cloud platforms and other computing environments.

4. Automate Your Business Processes

By automating processes, NetOps teams can streamline business practices and free up employees’ time to focus on the core functions and revenue streams of the organization. For instance, automating repetitive IT administrative tasks like network provisioning, configuration and image management, reduces in the tedious tasks required from IT staff with the added benefit of improving compliance.

Other work areas that can benefit from automation include network access, onboarding tasks and segmentation. Applications and data that follow the workload are protected by automating network policy within the enterprise data center with application-centric segmentation. Additionally, by automating end-to-end multidomain policy-based segmentation, organizations can establish a consistent, end-to-end, zero-trust access model, from users to workloads.

 5. Incorporate AI-powered Network Analytics and Machine Learning

Emerging tech trends are showing a shift toward the adoption of AI-enabled network analytics and machine learning. By following these trends, organizations improve the accuracy of automated processes and can more easily detect anomalies within and across network domains. AI and ML also enable faster remediation of root issues, decrease degradations in the network and identify organizational patterns and trends to provide contextual insights for network improvement.

This intelligence and analytics gathered by AI and ML also create a positive feedback loop, helping network administrators compare their network performance to industry, regional and global benchmarks.

 Looking for Additional Advice for Network Design?

The ivision team is happy to help plan your organization’s network improvements by analyzing your existing environments and providing a comprehensive plan to retool and reboot your organization.