Constant connectivity is indispensable in the modern business environment. In fact, connectivity has always been intimately connected with running a business – telegrams, fax machines and pagers were all designed to facilitate better connectivity – and the constant connectivity we enjoy today is only a reflection of the advances we’ve made in communications technology. Pre-internet technology may already seem archaic relative to today’s, but even the most cutting-edge tech will fade into obsolescence before long. So with that in mind, what can we expect from the future of network management software?

What are the implications of constant server uptime?

In today’s business environment, server uptime is an important asset. Most business functions rely on server uptime to some extent. Whether it’s getting feedback from a client over email, arranging a VoIP teleconference or sharing and accessing files over a cloud service provider, an unreliable server can impede the most basic of tasks. As our society becomes more reliant on constant connectivity, the expectations of your network will grow accordingly. Successful businesses of the future will gravitate towards solutions that leverage consistent server uptime as a means of satisfying customers and driving businesses forward

Is the data centre of the future physical or virtual?

Traditionally, budgeting server space required both physical and data considerations. Depending on the data and application demands of your business, server rooms could take up large amounts of space and cause a significant dent in your electricity bill. Additionally, physical servers needed to be maintained and monitored by IT staff – all of which substantially increased the overheads associated with administering a server. Many of the physical limitations do not apply in a strict sense to virtual servers. Virtual servers can run from just about anywhere and dynamically distribute resources around your network as they’re needed – but that isn’t to say you should skimp on hardware and pour all your money into network management software.

Physical network infrastructure is still important

Using virtual machines will take strain off your network, but you’re still limited by the computer power of the physical server you’re using. The physical server with which you’re hosting your virtual machines will still need to be maintained, and you may need to invest in new server infrastructure depending on the demands of your virtualisation software. You won’t be able to repurpose your ten-year-old server as the host for your virtual network and expect it to run like it’s brand new.

Network capacity planning is a budgeting tool

In today’s data-heavy business environment, benchmark testing and capacity planning are as much budgeting considerations as they are networking requirements. An effective capacity plan should take into account how your business goals align with your hardware resources. In businesses of the future, network capacity planning will become increasingly important, not only as a method of server management, but also as a means of increasing productivity.

Network management software and the expectations surrounding server uptime are constantly evolving, and this should be reflected in your network monitoring plan. Tracking and optimising your server uptime is an ongoing process, and your network should be regularly audited to identify areas in need of improvement.

In-house versus outsourcing – what makes better sense?

With the abundance of cloud hosting services and virtualised servers available today, many businesses are outsourcing their networking requirements to server specialists. The benefits are self-evident – delegating your server management to an off-site third party frees up physical space, gives more time to your in-house IT staff and takes some strain off your electricity bill. Make sure that you’ve assessed the impact of outsourcing control of your network versus paying more for in-house network management.

Start building tomorrow’s network today

Choosing a software partner that understands the networking requirements of your business will help you adapt to the challenges that will come with the future of network management software and the expectations of server uptime. To find out about the solutions that IRIS can provide for your business, please download a free copy of our Network Manager’s Guide to a Stable and Highly Available Network.

Image credit: John Lieff MD