Today, more than ever, IT administrators running the network are at the intersection of justifying their time and costs while still providing increasing levels of high-bandwidth services, either over wired or wireless connections.
Users are expanding what "plugs in" to the enterprise LAN, in the form of rugged mobile devices, iPads, netbooks, wireless access points (WAPs) and, of course, mainstay laptops and PCs that most employees use every day. Additionally, there are high expectations and requirements for plug and play connectivity for devices, reliable connectivity for communications, and secure network connectivity for employees and user communities.
However, the fact is, both the time and money available for IT to address these everyday tasks is shrinking in many cases. Budgets and staffs have either been downsized or remained flat, making it difficult to keep up with the demands and proliferation of on-demand applications and devices that run on the network.
What typically eats away the time of a network administrator? Monotonous tasks such as moving an IP phone from one location to another, isolating a device connecting to the network that needs authenticating, moving someone's work space to a new cubicle or providing power to network ports for phones. In addition, resources are spent reacting to help desk calls or network troubleshooting.
All of these tasks have something in common: they strain costs and personnel resources. All of these moves and changes add up quickly. It typically costs more than $100 for each move, add or change and more than $200 for performing fault isolation. This is why emerging software and network intelligence at every point in the network has become necessary. A "smart network" helps rein in expenses through advanced management and automation features.