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Where did all the bandwidth go?

By Max Burkhalter
September 27, 2012
In the contemporary business tech world, the IT department no longer has control. That's not to say that the enterprise has fallen into a pit of chaos that has left IT falling into a black hole of unproductivity. Instead, consumerization has hit the enterprise like the kid who always cheats by removing the blindfold and taking vicious strikes at the piniata before anybody can stop the rule breaking.

When that child strategically pounds the candy out of the piniata, he or she can see the weak places and go right at them. Similarly, the consumerization of IT seems to have exposed all of the weaknesses inherent in the contemporary IT world and forced them to adapt.

Consumerization puts IT under the microscope
The traditional IT setup is built around control. IT uses firewalls to put a wall around the network. Movement inside of the firewall is tightly controlled by the IT department, which deploys all of the hardware and depends on complexity to prevent end users from working around the enterprise rules and exposing the company to outside threats.

But then consumerization happened and technology suddenly became accessible. Workers started bringing smartphones and tablets into the office and IT began to lose control the moment that the first CEO told the IT manager, who has almost no authority in comparison, that supporting smartphones was necessary, regardless of the security implications. Because of this, the flaws in the traditional "establish a firewall and keep everybody out" model for running IT have been thoroughly exposed and companies are at risk.

The networking dangers of consumerization
When IT had control of the corporate infrastructure, it knew what devices were accessing the network. IT managers understood the types of content users had access to and would sometimes block social media and similar sites to control bandwidth consumption. Then everybody shows up with their personal smartphones and makes this system irrelevant overnight. Now IT can barely keep up with who is accessing the network and how they are doing it, let alone what they are using it for. This creates an environment in which employees watching cat videos on YouTube dominate corporate bandwidth and IT has to blindly change service plans hoping to solve the problem.

To really address the issue, companies may want to consider getting more fiber backhaul installed in the office and using fiber to Ethernet media converters to connect the fiber to the copper infrastructure. This can dramatically improve network capabilities and help businesses keep up with the challenges associated with consumerization.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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