Developers Face Challenges as Network Convergence Evolves
January 25, 2013
By Ed Silverstein
, TMCnet Contributor
Network convergence continues to evolve as it provides data, telephone and video in a single network; however, while there are many clear benefits to its structure, there can also be some challenges, as well.
It started decades ago. Since the 1980s and 90’s, the Internet was spurred on commercially – and convergence was present at its early stages. Even with all the changes found in network convergence, regulators located in the United States never approved a formal convergence policy; it’s been more of a market-driven trajectory. One key law which helped to promote competition was the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
It’s also noteworthy that the types of activities grouped as network convergence changed significantly from the start. Users now text, search diverse Websites, use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for phone service, watch streaming video, meet online using videoconferences, play innovative online games, use Unified Communications (News - Alert) (UC), and engage in e-commerce, according to online reports. Businesses, government agencies, non-profits and educational institutions take part in network convergence, too.
As mentioned above, as network convergence evolves, developers can sometimes face some unique challenges. For example, the need for quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE). For it to be economical and meet regulatory standards, there have to be ways to easily upgrade solutions, and technology must ensure both security and privacy, said reports claim. Let’s not also forget major cyber threats such as malware, hacking or viruses.
Given the popularity of mobile and other kinds of technology, including video, there is more need for adequate bandwidth. “As applications become more sophisticated and users exchange data of increasingly rich content, network resources can become overwhelmed,” according to an analysis from the Search Networking Channel.
“A key to effective network convergence therefore lies in the design, installation and maintenance of adequate hardware. Another challenge is the fact that the implementation of new technologies is limited by the extent to which investors and taxpayers are willing to support them. Still another key issue is the need for standards that ensure seamless operation with multiple end-user platforms and evolving communications modes. New technologies sometimes bring new types of traffic that place previously unknown demands on network hardware, operating systems, resources and software.”
Looking at recent trends, TMC has seen more businesses opting for VoIP and UC, as well as opting for managed services “to avoid extra costs and complexity when handling their managed networks.”
In addition, Tone Software’s (News - Alert) Paul Wiggins, who directs the company’s business development operations, told TMCnet that, “Now more than ever, businesses want to leverage technology to gain a competitive edge…. (But) the current business climate has created an extremely harsh environment for IT organizations responsible for deploying and maintaining these technologies.”
So in a time of a rough economy as well as all of these other challenges, what’s the solution here? In a nutshell, one needs to outsource the monitoring and management of the converged network to a managed service provider (MSP).
“It not only improves the stability and quality of the converged network services, but also reduces the operating expenses for the IT organization and frees the IT staff to focus on more strategic initiatives,” Wiggins explained.
Tone Software, a VoIP monitoring and management company, works with many MSPs through its Tone ReliaTel VoIP monitoring solution to effectively manage converging networks belonging to clients. In proactively and safely managing and monitoring VoIP, PBX, UC and converged network infrastructure across Avaya, Nortel, Cisco, Microsoft (News - Alert), Siemens, Alcatel-Lucent, NEC and many more, ReliaTel proves itself to be the perfect, vendor agnostic solution to handle virtually any flavor of VoIP for optimum QoS and QoE.
To learn more, visit www.tonesoft.com.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo