Until recently, it was possible to keep a legacy network infrastructure limping along with an acceptable cost versus performance trade-off. That’s no longer generally true, however. “Mostly because the risk of failure is too great and the energy consumption is too high,” says Kevin Sheehan, CTO of the Americas, with network automation firm Ciena. “In some cases, equipment is so old and spare parts so scarce that the infrastructure is no longer supportable. “Despite the cost and performance drawbacks, many enterprises continue to rely on aging networks based on designs that were developed many years ago.
Yet advanced technologies, such as the cloud and artificial intelligence, as well as new business models, including remote and flexible work, have pushed those designs to the limit and beyond. “Now is the time to reset and create, challenge, validate, and document business and technical requirements that will serve as the foundation for the upgraded network,” says William Perry, principal, US cloud innovation and engineering at business advisory firm PwC.