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SD-WAN : The Goldilocks solution for midsize companies

Remember the story of Goldilocks? Every chair she tried was either too big or too small. Some furniture was enormous and the rest were tiny. Nothing was a perfect fit. The Goldilocks dilemma doesn’t just happen in the land of nursery rhymes though. It’s also common in the world of IT, especially for midsize businesses.

 

Government, Vendors and Telco providers traditionally lump Midsize companies in small businesses into the SME category.

 

The problem is that small business solutions rarely meet the unique requirements of medium-sized organisations. And large enterprise solutions are too expensive and cumbersome to drive acceptable ROIs. Let’s take a closer look at a typical example of this Goldilocks problem: the wide area network (WAN).

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What every business should know about ransomware attacks

Does your organisation have tens of thousands of dollars to spare? Even if you have extra cash lying around, you probably have better ways to spend it than responding to a ransomware attack.

 

If your organisation is targeted, your IT team won’t be able to rely on a hero like Liam Neeson’s character in Taken to save the day. It is your responsibility to ensure systems are robust and ready to thwart attacks.

 

Experts estimate that ransomware strains like CryptoLocker, TorrentLocker and Locky have cost Australian businesses over $8 million. Proving that any company is vulnerable, they’ve even affected iconic businesses like Australia Post and the ABC.

 

Ransomware attacks are expensive, time-consuming and put confidential information at risk. Even organisations that rebuild from backups instead of paying the ransom suffer financial losses as a result of downtime and lost productivity.

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Meet the next generation in enterprise security: Software-Defined Secure Networking (SDSN)

If you work in enterprise IT, you probably already know that network security issues are expensive to fix. But did you know the average cost of a data breach for an Australian organisation is around $2.5 million? Yikes.

That figure comes from the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s 2015 Threat Report, which also predicts the already high incidence of data breaches to continue.

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Technology Disruption is here to stay. Is your network ready?

Last week, when I walked into our office, I found myself quickly whisked away around a fortress of cardboard boxes, past the server room, and dragged over a zillion cables and a cat to find myself in a room where a headset and goggles were strapped to me and a pair of wireless controllers were shoved in each hand.

 

I had been reluctant to try virtual reality (VR), despite all the hype in our office around our latest toy. I have never been much of a ‘gamer’ myself, probably because I could never get one-up on my older brother playing 007 Bond on Nintendo 64. Now I’m showing my age.

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Architecting a Network Design That Delivers

When it comes to networks, there’s no such thing as set and forget. Your network design and architecture are essential for keeping your business equipped to move forward and maintain industry momentum as well as guarding your competitive advantage. It is therefore imperative for your business to review its network design from time to time to ensure that it is not only meeting current business requirements but also satisfying security, speed and user demands, as these will all change over time.

When architecting a network design, whether for one site or five hundred, it’s important to weigh the needs and wants of those who will be using it against the budget and security requirements of those who will be paying for it. Some important things you should consider before undertaking a network design – whether it be a greenfield project, adding on additional sites or upgrading your infrastructure – include:

 

 

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IoT- not so rosy? 10 things to check before submitting your PO.

While our industry may be well known for its marketing hype, when looking back over my 30 years in IT, I have come to understand that our industry’s marketers have a tendency to start fussing about industry trends years before they become a reality. However, like many things in 21st century life, the cycle of hype to install is becoming shorter and shorter.

 

Having just completed a meeting with a developer at a Building Systems Automation company a few weeks ago, it was with great interest that I started trawling the net to look for case studies of enterprises jumping on the latest hype wagon – IoT, or the Internet of Things.

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Beyond Cisco’s IOS: Should you should consider the path less followed?

My dad is a “Jack of all trades” kind of guy. He’s handy at fixing anything around the house. Needed the bathroom tiled? Not a problem. Need a car serviced? He can do that too. How about getting something welded? Check. He’s great at fishing, diving, gardening and painting… he’s the kind of guy who restores vintage motorcycles as a hobby. He even repaired my favourite sunglasses when I stepped on them and snapped the arm off. Not to mention his dreaded financial advice. Yes, my father can do or fix pretty much everything… just don’t ask him to cook!

 

“What on earth does this have to do with IT and Networking?” I can hear you asking. For every skill that you could possibly develop in life, there is a level of skill for which people will pay you. Your career as a network admin, infrastructure manager, engineer, CTO, Security expert, chef, lawyer or plumber is simply one area where you’ve carefully crafted a skill or a set of skills that people both value and lack – and are therefore prepared to pay for.

 

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Traditional store connectivity networks no longer support retailers.

As an industry that is always under profit margin pressure, retail has been particularly challenged and disrupted by the rise of digitalisation.

 

The Internet has led to the growth of digital natives, upstarts who have built their businesses using a browser as a storefront and negotiated drop-ship arrangements with manufacturers, significantly reducing traditional opex models. The Internet has opened up market competition to global competitors, who even a decade ago could not operate, let alone compete, in a given market. It has launched hugely successful marketplaces, such as eBay, which have facilitated the introduction of micro retailers. This has given every consumer the ability to research every product available globally, view competitive price offers, and browse feedback from users who have already purchased the product.

 

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Managing Red Tape: The good, the bad, and the ugly of IT Change Management Processes

 

Working for a company that provides network professional services to a host of organisations across a variety of industry verticals, I have witnessed first-hand the good, the bad, the ugly, and the sexy when it comes to change management processes. And despite all the best intentions, even the most stringent change management processes can fall short when staff are facing pressure to deliver.

 

Whether it be a developer bursting in mid- SCN/RFC meeting with a change request scrawled on a post-it note, or the ‘Remediation Plan’ section in a change request document stating if everything goes wrong, the plan is to “fix the problem,” (sound familiar?) clearly there are times when organisations face challenges and resistance when it comes to successfully implementing a change management program.

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How to Get the Network Support Contract You Really Need

Have you ever tried to raise a support case on your networking equipment, only to find that your support contract had lapsed, or your network device was End of Life. Or has the Service Desk asked you infuriating questions, e.g. “is the device plugged in? Have you tried turning it on and off again?”

 

Frustrating isn’t it. Read on!

 

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