End-to-end Resilience for the Evolving Network

Many are familiar with the idea that ongoing updates can drastically prolong the life of certain software.

As one can imagine, the more connected we become, the more likely it is that the costs of network disruption will skyrocket while the benefits of an ironclad network infrastructure may go up as well. Following are some practices every organization can follow to ensure network resilience now and in the future. 

Separate network management

The primary production network is accessed by a large pool of users. This makes it more vulnerable to cyber breaches and disruptions, and if network management is housed on the same network, it becomes susceptible to the production network’s issues.  This means organizations may be wide open to attacks from anyone who can connect to a vulnerable device, and management can get locked out during disruptions and cyber-attacks. A Twitter link could open the door for data theft, or a bad update could lock out management from quickly resolving an issue.

Providing a separate, or out-of-band, pathway for network management to connect to edge and core console ports can prevent deadlock, drastically secure the “keys to the kingdom” of an organization and provide a secure “admin’s only” location for network management resources. 

With a separate network management plane, automated tools and technicians can constantly monitor equipment and remediate problems, regardless of the primary network’s status or the location of the incident. It can also help management carefully gate access to many features for improved provisioning and new site configuration. This could be immensely helpful to maintaining always-on connectivity for consumers and enterprise users alike.

Develop a network management automation toolset

While automation reduces the workload burden of skilled technologists, it can also increase security for critical network devices. For instance, automated management tools can constantly log, analyze, and generate alerts based on network activity. Modern tools can also continuously update critical resources like back-up images or firmware update scripts. Additionally, capabilities like zero-touch provisioning can make new site configuration remote, instantaneous, and secure.

Many are familiar with the idea that ongoing updates can drastically prolong the life of certain software. Applying this concept to networking, many organizations seek to develop ecosystems that prepare them to continuously improve upon and update their network management tools and automated networking functions. This can help them ensure their networking environment aligns with their overall architecture and business strategies, which may be shifting, and ensures agility for years to come.

For easy updating of network automation tools, open-source solutions are often key. To this point, organizations have drastically improved their flexibility and scalability by implementing open-architecture models. These can act as a secure, network-management staging ground conducive to third-party tools and in-house automation modules alike.  

Implementing secure wireless connectivity

Many find that a backup connection should be able to seamlessly prevent disruptions and scale alongside an organization. For those looking to future-proof, plain old telephone lines are probably not ideal because they are difficult to scale. Additionally, they are a poor backup solution because they are vulnerable to the same disruptions as the underlying network. Telephone lines are also inefficient for servicing geographically dispersed edge locations because they need on-site support for troubleshooting and configuration.


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