The Enterprise Networking Complexity Calculator

Praveen Jain, Founder/CEO at WiteSand

We think of the enterprise as campus, branch, office, factory, retail site, distribution center, etc. The reality is that wired and wireless connectivity and security from these enterprise locations are tedious to deploy and maintain.

When the network-as-a-service (NaaS) term was first introduced, it was a big relief that enterprise networking could be consumed much like the public cloud today. Finally, enterprises can focus on their business priorities, right?

Not quite, as we realized that we are, in fact, very far away from that dream. This is not just about converting from a capital expenditures model to an operating expenses model, but also how you can simplify day to day management of the network.

Most enterprise networks today are heterogeneous due to size of location, organic growth, or picking up different technologies for newer deployments. This may be multiple product portfolios from one vendor or across several vendors. On top of that, the array confronts network managers with a myriad of tools for various functions. Simply put, it’s a mess.

In order to make this point more interesting, we created an operational complexity calculator. This is purely an example, but it may highlight some of the challenges you’re already dealing with.

WiteSand OpEx Scoring Guidelines

  • A score of 1 for cloud-based tools due to simplicity.
  • A score of 2 for on-premise tools due to the manual effort to install, upgrade, etc.
  • A score of 3 for home-grown/open-source tools that require additional effort to maintain

Example: A sample enterprise with 25 locations

In a perfect world, a score of 1 means you have achieved nirvana with a single cloud-delivered service. The reality is most medium to large enterprises will end up with a complexity score of greater than 50.

This raises several questions:

  • Is there a need for more cloud-delivered services?
  • Have we reached a stage of some consolidation between product silos?
  • What does the public cloud for enterprise networking look like?
  • Can I leverage cloud-delivered enterprise in my brown field environment?
  • Can the edge cloud play a role here?
  • While the SASE and private LTE are being considered, there are other issues still to be addressed for a cloud-delivered enterprise.

Remember how quickly the mp3 player, GPS, camera, and video recorder were all consolidated into a smartphone? One device now provides all of these key functions. The same disruption is waiting to happen in the enterprise network. This disruption along with the OpEx model of hardware will make NaaS a truly viable service. However, the customers should still have the choice to select their hardware vendors, as well as the choice to buy or lease.

If you also have similar questions in mind, please register for our launch to learn how we are defining the future of enterprise networking at WiteSand.

See More Blog Posts »