There is never a dull moment in the life of a network manager. Just when things seem to settle down, and everyone is comfortable with the mix of available technologies and solutions, BOOM, the next new thing enters the marketplace. To put the rapid change of things into perspective, here is our brief overview of the technologies that emerged and events that occurred last year that will have a great impact on enterprise IT this year.
The fragility of the world's underlying infrastructure
But perhaps the biggest wake-up call about the vulnerability of our global connectivity infrastructure was the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcanic eruption in January that cut the island off from the rest of the world.
As we noted in Tonga Volcano Highlights Global Undersea Cable Network Fragility, the global undersea cable network is very fragile and can go offline quickly. That is a problem because roughly 95 percent of intercontinental global data traffic travels over these cables. And unfortunately, the system is subject to disruptions from accidental cuts, malicious damage, and damage caused by natural disasters like hurricanes, tsunamis, and other incidents. As we noted in the article, the way to overcome the problem is via satellite communication, which is quite expensive.
The volcano's impact was very limited in that it only impacted Tonga. However, there were numerous cloud outages that had global implications. As we noted in Lessons Learned from Recent Major Outages, wide-scale disruption to businesses worldwide. Most were caused by configuration changes done by the providers themselves, a handful were due to Mother Nature, and some were due to long-standing familiar issues like power outages.
To minimize the impact of such outages in 2023, enterprises should look for ways to minimize the impact on their business. That might include using multiple providers or, when available, selecting premium services that provide redundant capabilities when one cloud center goes out.