Saoirse Ó Cathain

Author Archives: Saoirse Ó Cathain

How open networking can make supply chains more resilient

Supply chains are fragile things. They’re a web of suppliers and distributors, of storage and shipping facilities, and of resellers, all working at just the right speeds and with just the right margin of error to keep things flowing smoothly. But any fragile system is inevitably vulnerable to world events.

With the increasing requirement to support remote work, a robust, adaptable network is a business necessity. But it can be a challenge to source the networking equipment you need when global trade is disrupted. Open networking—where you’re not locked into specific network components—gives you many supplier and platform options to choose from, increasing your flexibility to deal with sudden and substantial change.

The lean supply chain

Lean manufacturing has become a common business practice. An IndustryWeek survey in 2016 ranked lean manufacturing systems as one of the most important technological advancements (second only to quality management systems).

Lean companies prioritize efficiency and work to reduce waste. This often means that they don’t stockpile components or keep a large inventory of completed products, which keeps money from being tied up in excess goods or unused warehouse space.

Companies source parts and labor from across the globe in an effort to trim Continue reading

Remote work makes network visibility more critical than ever

What, exactly, is on your network? More to the point, where is your network? Ask yourself that now, then compare this to how your network looked a year ago. The answers have almost certainly changed, with most organizations seeing a rapid increase in the number of employees working remotely.

Hardened, policy-managed corporate networks are being exposed via remote VPNs to home network environments and, in some cases, employees’ home computers. This increases network complexity and may introduce new security and performance issues. To keep things running smoothly, having an in-depth view of the devices and events on your network is crucial.

Maintaining network performance with remote workers

When employees work from home, troubleshooting becomes more complex. Even if an employee is using a company-supplied computer, it is operating on an unmanaged network, and is exposed to everything else that happens to be on that network.

Today’s home networks often have multiple computers, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, game consoles, and even Internet of Things devices like security camera doorbells. In addition to the security risks of putting a company computer on an insecure network, there are IT infrastructure problems that can arise when work-from-home becomes normalized.

A March 19, 2020, Network Continue reading