Top three reasons to use a micro-segmentation solution like VMware NSX

Editor’s note (September 2019): We updated this post with additional resources/links about multicloud networking. 

One of the most hyped use cases of software-defined networking (SDN) is micro-segmentation — and for a good reason. With solutions such as VMware NSX, micro-segmentation promises several high-value business outcomes. These include modern security, seamless operations and optimized user experience.

Learn the key three reasons why you should consider micro-segmentation for your organization:

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Managed Services for Meraki: Demystified

Wireless internet is vital to your organization.

Cloud applications drive your day-to-day operations. Digital data steers your strategic decisions. Your users expect to access their work apps and data from any device or location.

For these reasons, you depend on an advanced network infrastructure. But what happens when “advanced” becomes “too complex to handle”?

Over time, added layers of technology create silos. Distinct networking devices and software require more specialized skill sets. Each one adds to the cost of keeping the network up and running.

Cloud-hosted wireless networking from Cisco Meraki goes a long way to simplify things.

It offers a powerful, cloud-managed solution for companies with a high priority on the cloud or hybrid IT initiatives and limited time or resources to deploy them. Its wireless mesh technology is well-suited to teams managing networks across several distributed locations.

Nonetheless, network growth, increasing performance demands, and evolving security concerns keep networking teams stretched to the limit. Even with Meraki cloud solutions in place, many can’t spare the time or resources to get the most out of the technology.

That’s why we created Keystone Managed Services for Meraki. In the article below, we explore the top three things you stand to gain from a managed services approach to your Cisco Meraki deployment.

Put Time Back on the Clock

Is your team up-to-date on every aspect of your Meraki licensing? Are they implementing hardware support tickets as fast as they could be? Are they on top of your return materials authorization (RMA) requirements?

Even the best IT teams get overwhelmed. Given the pace of change in most environments, it’s often a challenge for seasoned network professionals to sustain smooth daily operations. It’s also the everyday management tasks that pile up when higher priorities arise.

Lack of time, along with resource shortages and poor visibility into the network, make it difficult to plan and implement long-term improvements to the network.

Imagine what you could accomplish if you had that time back.

A managed services approach automates the repetitive, time-consuming operational processes associated with maintaining your Meraki deployment. Outsourced experts from Softchoice oversee the day-to-day aspects of support, including subscription management, compliance and device licensing.

We keep your network running in the background, freeing your IT resources to deliver on core objectives and innovation projects. The result? Your in-house team spends less time keeping the lights on – and more time moving the business forward.

Do Better than “Break-Fix”

Maintaining a network takes a lot of work. Much of that effort is spent reacting to problems as they arise. Between sustaining daily operations and troubleshooting issues, there’s little time to keep on top of emerging trends and threats

In fact, 91% of IT executives surveyed by IDG believed the networking profession is only becoming more challenging. Meanwhile, 70% felt the cloud adds even more difficulty.

In many cases, in-house IT personnel – and some managed services providers (MSPs) – lack the skills to move past a reactive, “break-fix” model of network support. Meanwhile, productivity lost due to outages and downtime for repairs can put a significant fiscal strain on a business.

Under a Softchoice Managed Services engagement, we focus on providing proactive mentorship to help you avoid common problems and get the most from your Meraki deployment.

Our subject matter experts (SMEs) guide you through the complex waters of licensing selection and asset management. Then, through event-style coaching, we bring your in-house skill set up to speed while keeping you abreast of the latest threats. The offering also includes support from Cisco-certified experts, which makes up the majority of our engineering team, who are available 24/7.

Move Beyond “Plug-and-Play”

Poor visibility is the biggest impediment to efficient network performance. Cloud-managed networking from Meraki provides plenty of real-time data into what’s going on network-wide. That visibility is critical for managing and securing traffic on your network.

However, the default configurations for your Meraki tools may not be best-suited to the needs of your environment. At the same time, reconfiguring tools to meet evolving requirements take up time and resources your team doesn’t have.

Our Keystone Managed Services team conducts a deep-dive assessment of your current environment, including traffic and usage metrics. From here, we help you move past “plug-and-play” configurations toward implementations optimized for your environment.

We focus on mentoring your team in all aspects of Meraki, from configuration to best practices for moves, adds and changes (MACs). Throughout the engagement, we recommend performance improvements and configuration changes based on quarterly assessments of your network.

Why micro-segmentation security makes SDN safer

Why micro-segmentation security makes SDN safer

I can explain why modern data centers need micro-segmentation in two words: Trojan Horse.

Not the malware, but that timeless story of wooden-horsey riding saboteurs. In it, we see that even the most powerful perimeters fall short. The bad guys always find a way in.

With virtualized data centers and desktops, this notion is particularly troubling. What if someone breaches the firewall protecting your virtual environments? Once inside, malware and attackers freely move laterally (east-west) causing mayhem and tons of financial damage.

Micro-segmentation is the solution – but it’s not without its share of confusion and challenges. So before you jump in, consider why it’s the right choice, and some of the common sticking points slowing down its adoption.

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