Businesses and communications around the world run on a network of globally interconnected computers. At the top of this network is WAN. A wide area network is a connection of computers that extends over a large geographic area such as countries. Below WAN are smaller networks such as the local area network, which can either be public or private. An Enterprise network is a special type of private LAN.
In an era where businesses are increasingly becoming reliant on digital spaces, the importance of having fast and secure connections cannot be emphasized enough. So is the cost of unreliable networks, which is increasingly becoming unsustainable.
The issue of network downtimes and insecurity, often associated with public networks, has led to the rise in the popularity of privately managed enterprise networks. The key purpose of such networks is to allow businesses to maintain secure access to digital spaces.
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An enterprise network is a foundational form of communication within an organization. It is also referred to as a corporate network, and it facilitates seamless sharing of internal resources, such as applications and data, between different teams and departments.
An Enterprise network is set up by establishing a secure wired or wireless connection between computer systems in an enterprise. All systems should be able to communicate and share files. Additionally, the systems should be able to provide and maintain reliable performance and security.
Components of an Enterprise Network
A typical enterprise network comprises different components, mainly the endpoints and network devices. It may also consist of separate but interconnected local area networks.
Traditionally, an enterprise network's endpoint devices consisted of desktop computers, laptops, printers, and physical servers. Today, they include virtual servers and mobile devices such as smartphones. These devices communicate over an enterprise network, sharing files and other in-house resources.
An Enterprise network comprises network devices that create a connection between endpoint devices. Routers and switches are some of these devices. They facilitate the transfer of files from one endpoint device to another.
Local area networks can also be interconnected to create a large enterprise network. For example, huge organizations often have multiple branches, each with its local area network. The organization can build a large enterprise network by interconnecting these LANs over the internet. In such a setup, enterprise servers are where branch offices access on-premise resources, while the internet is where they access hosted applications and data.
Evolution of Enterprise Networks
Enterprise networks have gradually been evolving. One of the biggest changes in recent years is the adoption of wireless connections. Traditionally, enterprise networks relied on wired links such as carrier Ethernet, T1, and MPLS to operate. For enterprise networks involving multiple LANs, wired links would mean having direct physical connections between the networks.
Today, enterprise networks are shifting to wireless connections such as 4G and the emerging 5G. The shift is partly due to the proliferation of mobile devices, but it is also about the flexibility and scalability of wireless connections.
Another factor fueling this change is the emerging popularity of cloud computing. Many organizations are increasingly moving their workloads to the cloud, making it more convenient to access their shared in-house resources. This new approach makes the traditional backhauling of enterprise networks less beneficial.
Future prospects of Enterprise Networks
The traditional form of backhauling enterprise networks would involve traffic traveling from local branch offices to the headquarters and then to the internet. Such an approach consumed a lot of network resources, creating congestion within the enterprise network and, in the process disrupting normal operations. These challenges have given rise to another form of enterprise connection: Software-Defined WANs.
Software-Defined WANs (SD-WANs) allow enterprise branch offices to access hosted applications and data with improved convenience. This is because, unlike traditional enterprise connections, SD-WANs eliminate the need to backhaul traffic to the HQ, as it allows branch offices to access the internet directly.
SD-WANs also solve the issue of complicated management often associated with traditional forms of WANs. Furthermore, in the future evolution of enterprise networks, users will be looking for something that can be self-operated and self-managed – features that can only be achieved with the introduction of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Future enterprise networks will also experience a shift in cybersecurity. Amid rising cases of more complicated and sophisticated cyber threats, organizations seek to invest in new cybersecurity tools and strategies to protect their enterprise networks. Zero-trust security is one of the cybersecurity solutions gaining popularity among modern enterprises. The main concept behind zero-trust security is never to trust any unverified host in an enterprise network.
Increase in efficiency and productivity
A reliable enterprise network contributes immensely to an organization's overall efficiency and productivity by (1) facilitating seamless sharing of resources and information between employees and various departments and (2) improving user experience through faster and reliable connections.
Centralized system administration
It is much easier to administer and manage a group of computer systems from a single platform than to manage them individually. Additionally, enterprise networks allow organizations to manage systems remotely rather than in person. This is particularly beneficial to organizations whose enterprise networks span multiple branches.
Enterprise networks are the focal point for cybersecurity programs and are therefore instrumental in efforts to detect and respond to security threats. Additionally, most enterprise network devices, including routers, have in-built security features such as firewalls, which contribute to network security.
Reduced Operating Costs
An enterprise network allows employees and departments to share in-house resources such as printers and storage devices. That means you can buy just a few of these resources for the entire department or organization rather than buying for each employee. Similarly, an enterprise network allows you to share an internet connection. All this means you save a lot in operational costs.
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Facilitate secure remote working
Organizations are increasingly embracing remote and hybrid working arrangements. This is partly because of the reduced operational costs associated with these arrangements but also because of the better work-life balance they offer to employees. Enterprise networks provide remote workers with seamless access to enterprise resources in order to complete their tasks.
Insight into the business
Enterprise networks allow organizational management to access any business information, which may include employee performance and sales figures. This gives them better insight into what is happening in the organization.
Better customer support
With an enterprise network, your customer representatives have unfiltered and real-time access to all necessary customer and product information, offering better service and support. For example, if you are a health institution, your enterprise network would allow your customer service employees to access patient information such as diagnosis, treatment, and prescriptions. This lets them be responsive and offer personalized support.
An Enterprise network allows employees and departments to share resources and information. But since building and managing a reliable enterprise network is not an easy task, so many organizations are turning to enterprise network service providers.
At TATA communications, we offer cutting-edge enterprise network solutions that leverage current and emerging capabilities to propel your growth trajectory. Schedule a consultation with us to find out more about our services.
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