Modern Network Architecture

Nov 13 2011   1:34PM GMT

Single Silo Communications

James Murray James Murray Profile: James Murray

With information distribution changing so quickly we shouldn’t forget how only 30 years ago phone-books, newspapers and magazines were the ways information was almost exclusively distributed.  The information that was distributed then is almost the same as the information distributed today.  We want to know about our friends and family.  We want to know about the world and our community.  We want to know how to function better in our jobs and in our lives.  The only difference is the distribution method.  When looking at information in the past and even today the modern network architecture is no longer limited to the “single silo” model of communication and data technology infrastructure.


If you’ve been in technology since the beginning you probably started either in data or in voice.  Voice was traditionally analog communication while data has been digital.  Over the last thirty years we’ve quickly seen the music industry moving from analog to digital.  Newspapers are also moving, (more like being dragged kicking and screaming) into the digital age as well.  VoIP technologies are simple gateways between data and voice technologies.  Suddenly we are realizing that communication is actually just another form of information.  Communication has just been slowed by the media on which it is distributed.  With digital media, communication speeds are much faster, more efficient and less costly.  

For many industries this means that the business must change.  In Seattle IT consulting technology roles continue to refocus with Microsoft’s focus on Lync multi-tenant hosting pack.  We typically think of a cell phone company as a company that sells cell phones.  Yet what if nobody needed cell phones any longer?  Instead calls could be made with a tablet and a simple Jabra device connected into a USB port.  Imagine if a $10,000 communication server could replace a $150,000 PBX system and a $250 telephone handset could be replaced by a $25 Jabra device. 

For a company whose business model is selling bandwidth this is an exciting time.  UC technologies naturally increase bandwidth.  Not just double bandwidth needs but easily triple and quadruple bandwidth sales per customer.  In addition to bandwidth as hardware moves into the cloud, bandwidth companies can begin selling hosted business services like CRM, Accounting software and other services.  For the business owner this is a big win.  On premise networks are expensive and need to be upgraded and replaced with every technology and accounting lifecycle change.  Through redundancy and disaster recovery planning on-premise networks become more and more expensive to maintain the bigger the company grows.  Millions of email seats are being sold to Fortune 500 companies who find hosted services more cost effective and reliable than building their own on-premise system.

We already see this happening in enterprise level companies.  As more and more networks move to the cloud, server technicians will be working in the NOCs where these systems are maintained.  The modern network architect will need to understand how this telecom role change will affect the business infrastructure.

I’ve been intrigued as I’ve thought about how communication has changed.  I talk a lot about the newspaper industry.  In an information world I think it’s ironic that newsprint is so integral to the Newspaper industry.  Instead of focusing only on newsprint technology, news industries should be looking at UC technologies as a way of enhancing UC provider position.  If bandwidth is the way a UC provider makes more money, it seems that news organizations should be working with UC providers to increase band sales to UC customers.

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