Signs That a Network Technology Has Outlived Its Usefulness

All network devices and software components have a limited lifespan. Here's how to tell when a critical technology's time has finally run out.

Data Center Knowledge

December 22, 2023

2 Min Read
Signs That a Network Technology Has Outlived Its Usefulness
Dmitrii Kotin / Alamy

The grim reaper's sharp scythe makes no exceptions, including network components. Your task, as a manager, is to beat the reaper before it can do its job, condemning an essential network or network service to purgatory when it reaches the end of its lifespan.

Network technology, like everything else, has a lifespan, says Lisa Guess, senior vice president of global engineering sales at wireless edge networking equipment provider Cradlepoint, in an email interview. "It may be tempting to believe it's cheaper and easier to keep your network running beyond its lifespan, but it rarely is."

A clear indication that a network technology has outlived its usefulness is when it can no longer support business needs in terms of scalability, security, or efficiency, observes Clint Fisher, cybersecurity director at engineering and professional services Black Rock Engineering and Technology, via email. Frequent failures or incompatibility with newer systems are also key warning signs, he adds. "Most network managers are adept at spotting obsolete technologies, but challenges arise in balancing legacy systems with the need for innovation, often constrained by budgetary and operational considerations."

Technologies on the rise, including blockchain, augmented/virtual reality, 5G, AI analytics, and AIOps, all require advanced network capabilities to manage data traffic with speed, security, agility, and low latency, says Amit Dhingra, executive vice president, network services, at technology and business solutions provider NTT via email. "If your network infrastructure is struggling to support the deployment of new technologies, devices, and applications, it's a telltale sign that your organization needs to consider a network upgrade."

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A sudden change in network usage could also signal a problem. "Network managers and their teams should work to understand what's driving the change in usage," says Marc Herren, an analyst with technology research and advisory firm ISG, via email. Have business needs changed? Is a new device or software incompatible with the existing network environment? Either could be the root of the problem.

Read the rest of this article on Network Computing

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