The Next Generation of enterprise connectivity: Scaling bandwidth with programmable networks
By Digital News Asia March 9, 2021
- Maxis one of 33 global networks to achieve MEF certification
- Intuitive dashboard allows customers to check utilisation within any range of dates
Moving into the coming decade, companies continue to seek out digital solutions to their most pressing problems. This requires them to leverage a colossal amount of data generated by apps, social media, IoT devices – and an unending number of sources. The IDC report, Data Age 2025, predicted that digital data generated in five years would reach 175 zettabytes. Saved onto DVDs and stacked, this would result in a tower tall enough to circle the world 222 times.
As more connections generate more data, the connections themselves become of vital importance – a task too important to be left to traditional networks.
Telling time with a broken clock
Even a broken clock, the saying goes, tells the right time twice a day. Likewise, your amount of allotted bandwidth may occasionally – though coincidentally – be the exact amount you need. The rest of the time you are paying too much or receiving too little.
That’s because for enterprises, getting the right amount of bandwidth is a balancing act that weighs saving costs against maintaining performance. The highest bandwidth plans come at a stiff price and often tie companies to rigid multi-year contracts. So, what does a company do when its rate of bandwidth consumption varies on seasonally, on different days of the week, different times of the month, or for special events?
Do these businesses lock themselves into an expensive plan to prepare for periods that require more bandwidth? Or forego performance (and perhaps even availability) with a lower bandwidth plan?
The programmable network
It goes without saying that businesses would benefit hugely from a more flexible option. A communications service provider with an enterprise-grade, programmable network takes lose-lose choices (e.g., cost control vs growth) off the table by enabling both cost efficiency and performance on demand.
In Malaysia, the programmable network operated by telecommunications provider Maxis supports features such as bandwidth on demand. This enables enterprise customers to sign up for download speeds fast enough to meet their typical day-to-day requirements, then request temporary upgrades as needed.
This alone takes the dread out of scheduled events – such as systems back-ups – that used to gobble up bandwidth and slow down regular operations. For unpredictable events resulting in sudden bursts of bandwidth utilisation, like an organisation forced to work from home on short notice, scaling up quickly to ensure business continuity can be a lifesaver.
Organisations with seasonal needs profit as well: hotels can increase bandwidthduring holiday seasons; universities can ensure students have high-speed internet access during the school term.
At the same time, companies can learn a great deal about their network needs. Maxis provides enterprise customers with full visibility over their company’s internet utilisation, both fixed and mobile. An intuitive dashboard allows customers to check daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly utilisation within any range of dates they determine.
All this is made possible with the support of a programmable network. But not any programmable network.
Meeting the highest global standards
The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) is a global federation of network, cloud and technology providers. Through its certification programme (MEF 3.0 CE) it sets standards for internet services by telecommunications companies.
To be awarded MEF 3.0 CE, a telco must fulfil criteria that demonstrate world-class capabilities in scalability, reliability, quality, management, and standardisation of service. At the time of writing this article, only 33 telcos in the world had earned this acknowledgement of gold-standard internet services.
Maxis is one of those telcos, leveraging its network and services to bolster Malaysia’s businesses and economic potential.
A traditional network is not ‘broken’ of course, but it is inflexible. And if 2020 proved anything, it is that resilience depends on a company’s ability to react quickly. It is not good enough for your telecommunications provider to allow for temporary increases to bandwidth if such requests take days to approve.
What companies need is a way to request and receive these temporary upgrades as little time as it takes them to log into their account, specify the amount of additional bandwidth, dates and duration, and click.
Services that run on programmable networks excel at this, thereby allowing companies to respond immediately to both expected and unexpected changes to demand for bandwidth.
The in-built flexibility of a programmable network also serves strategic goals; the ability to increase bandwidth means companies can adopt new digital technologies as they need them, without worrying whether it will slow down other operations.
Focus on business goals, not IT issues
As more businesses rely on digital technologies, a secure, dependable and agile network provides not only resilience, but a competitive advantage. The in-built flexibility of telco programmable networks frees companies to shift their focus from the complex technicalities of upgrading their network to concentrate fully on business strategy, opportunities and goals.
Learn more about the Maxis Programmable Network and what agile, enterprise-grade connectivity can do for your organisation.