The network of the future
What will the enterprise network of the future look like? Is it possible to
demonstrate a practical working model? Can we have a network with cutting edge
technologies that have crossed the typically over-hyped 'concept' stage to a
'ready for practical implementation' state?
These were the questions faced by the Network Magazine editorial team when they
decided to set up The Future Enterprise (TFE) at Technology Senate 2003. The
concept behind The Future Enterprise was to have a futuristic technology showcase
pavilion. It had to be futuristic yet anchored to reality. The technologies
had to be tried and tested, yet, practical and easy to deploy in the enterprise
For the road ahead
With the assistance of IIT Bombay (for Basic Network Design) and Datacraft India
Limited (for network integration), this futuristic network evolved from being
just a dream to reality.
During the course of network design, certain key attributes that the network
requires were identified.
- Users should be able to access the enterprise network irrespective of their
- Users must have access to applications over multiple devices.
- Product interoperability is key.
With businesses transcending in nature from localized to global in nature, it's
essential that the enterprise be global in nature. This can be achieved by providing
connectivity using wireless technology.
The technologies chosen for connectivity were 802.11g for LAN access and GPRS
connectivity for mobile users. 802.11g has the advantage of higher bandwidth
(54 Mbps) compared to present day 802.11b (11Mbps) WLANs. This makes it more
attractive for providing user mobility over the LAN. GPRS makes it possible
for mobile users to connect to the network using devices like PDAs and laptops.
On the applications front, The Future Enterprise demonstrated how unified messaging
makes it possible for users to access applications over devices like IP phones
and PDAs. Some of the applications displayed over IP phones included e-mail
access and live information updates from the Internet.
The applications displayed over PDAs included access to functions like messaging,
databases, and CRM. In addition to these, laptops and PCs with 802.11g connections
were connected to the application servers. The Future Enterprise employed a
2 Mbps RF link from Sify to connect to the Internet.
Interoperability is essential for the way ahead. This was brought out clearly
in the network by using products from multiple vendorsespecially those
from competing vendors.
|Datacraft India Limited
(DIL) offers application networks solutions for enterprises and telecom
service providers. The company provides turnkey integration systems for
IP Telephony, Customer interactive solution including call center technologies,
service provider industry solution, and enterprise portals solutions. DIL
also offers infrastructure solutions for network infrastructure, networked
storage, security and cabling/wireless systems.
company offers IP Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), Voice over IP solutions
like Voice VPN, IP Centrex, unified messaging and iBOSS operational and
business systems for billing, fulfillment, and assurance management to
help service providers compete effectively in a deregulated telecom environment.
Managed Services monitors, optimizes and manages IT infrastructure in
an online, real-time environment. Based on the Global Services Operating
Architecture, the services are delivered worldwide, 24x7x365 through Datacraft's
in Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, Wellington and Bangalore, and globally through
Dimension Data's operating centers.
Professional Services provides consultancy, assessment, project management
and integration for application network systems such as IPT, security,
call center integration, and iBOSS business and operation support services.