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Five tips to reduce network costs

Aziz Ala’ali, Regional Director, Middle East & Africa, Extreme NetworksAn economic slowdown can mean that resources are constrained, IT staffs could be flat for the coming year and new equipment purchases will be scrutinized. These restraints weigh heavily on IT administrators, who are under pressure to build great networks and yet still tighten up on expenses.

Below are five ways that organizations can tighten up on expenses from their network.


Labor-intensive network tasks such as setting up and handling a converged network can be automated, freeing up valuable time of IT administrators. Automation with intelligent software can help enterprises cope with a growing population of phones and devices that connect to the network edge. Operational automation can help efficiently complete moves, adds and changes with speed and accuracy. Also, automation for convergence helps to configure more advanced Quality of Service and endpoint detection of IP handsets.

Additionally, through this automation administrators should be able to automatically shut down IP telephones, cameras or WLAN access points at night, at weekends or over holidays, thus significantly reducing the power consumption of the devices. Other administration processes can also be automated, enabling quick, cost-effective and error-free moves, re-installations and configuration changes to terminal devices.

Make Use of Integrated Security

Organizations should expect a network to provide integrated security features that more control of users and devices. Unlike security appliances of the past that acted separately, built-in security software allows the network to participate in the security stance by detecting events at the network level and then enforcing security policy across multiple network entities.

Complete network solutions should perform consistent authentication of devices over either wired or wireless.

Consider Wireless

Mobility can increase productivity and customer satisfaction. Mission-critical wireless applications are being deployed in hospitals, retail environments, manufacturing and distribution, educational facilities, as well as in corporate conference room and offices. The network provider should consider addressing edge network challenges with wireless LAN solutions that offer eased installation without cabling costs. These solutions are designed to remove the complexity from wireless details such as Radio Frequency (RF) eccentricities, wireless Quality of Service (QoS) and security. Installation is easy and enterprise-grade reliability ensures that IT managers do not get wireless support calls in the middle of the night.

Save Energy, Save Costs

Core Ethernet switches serve as the foundation for high speed data, bandwidth intensive enterprise applications, server farm aggregation and convergence. Operating on a 24×7 basis, the right core switches can support “Green” initiatives and cost savings through low power consumption, as electricity is saved from more efficient operation and design. This can result in annual cost savings while promoting a greener environment, with a reduced carbon footprint for organizations.

Enterprises that are seeking Green IT solutions for the network LAN backbone, aggregation portion and for data server farms should review recent tests that report on the electrical power consumption of switches under various conditions and traffic loads.

Eliminate a Layer

The concept of the two-tier network architecture plays into an IT organization’s desire to simplify its infrastructure and reduce costs. A two-tier architecture decreases the total cost of network ownership, both in terms of capital and operating expenses. By collapsing network layers, the IT organization needs fewer products with which to run the network. Fewer products mean lower costs of capital, implementation and training.

While the two-tier architecture represents a simplification of previous designs, it does not represent a compromise in terms of connection quality or network availability,. As the name indicates, the two-tier architecture is a collapsing of layers into scalable network core and intelligent edge. Additionally, fewer products also mean less management and greater ease of operations (e.g. software upgrades, troubleshooting) contributing to lower network operations costs.

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