Businesses are being urged to allow some staff to work from home during this summer’s London Olympic Games, but an increased number of homeworkers – coupled with a surge in people going online to watch the Games – will undoubtedly have a massive impact on the internet.
The Government has been quick to put out warnings of possible internet outages. What's more, the speed of mobile data connections may also slow down and content such as files and images may be difficult to download to mobile devices – the very devices that homeworkers rely on. That's why enterprises must look carefully at their infrastructure and its ability to support remote working effectively, and make sure they have a fabric that is able to cope.
Firstly, it is critical that your network, including the data centre, can accommodate and dynamically adapt to the increasingly demanding workload by building the model that Gartner calls “application fluency”.
Virtualisation can also be a major player here. It has revolutionised the way organisations run server applications in the data centre, and allows organisations to migrate dozens of servers from a physical environment to a virtual private cloud in order to boost business continuity, for example, or to support disaster recovery – which may prove critical over the summer.
But there is a flip side: virtualisation can also be a major culprit in putting additional stress on the network – networks that are already under immense pressure from growing numbers of real-time applications and mobile devices.
The answer to the problem lies in implementing an advanced ethernet fabric.
Network virtualisation enables the data centre switching network to route traffic based on the optimal path in the network, and can deliver a switching fabric with extremely low-latency. Equally important, a true data centre fabric will automatically adapt to VM (virtual machine) movement to relieve IT of the burden of manually provisioning the network.
This way, data centre networks can adapt to the higher bandwidth requirements of media-rich applications such as video while supporting server and desktop virtualisation, and take the next important steps in providing true application fluency across the network.
And it’s not just to keep ahead of the Games this year, but beyond – the need for any device, anywhere, anytime working isn’t going to go away after the Olympics.