Can you afford to ignore hybrid network training?

While hybrid IT is reaching a vendor hype-cycle peak, IT’s move to adopt a mix of on-premises, cloud-based, and software as a service (SaaS) access networks is no longer an emerging trend.

Today, there is blanket adoption. And while most administrators and network architects will admit to the importance of managing hybrid IT, many businesses still seem curiously reticent when it comes to training admins in its intricacies.

IT departments certainly have a great many overlapping priorities to worry about, such as the adoption of new technology, lifecycle and capacity management for existing investments, and safeguarding against data breaches. Unfortunately, because of this, it’s not unusual to see companies reluctant to spend their limited budget for personal development.

>See also: Hybrid IT organisations struggle with IT skills gap and security concerns

For many enterprise network administrators, attending a cloud conference is simply out of the question. And that shouldn’t be the case. Businesses can greatly benefit from allocating funds to allow IT pros to attend training, conferences, or workshops—anything to help grease the wheels of the hybrid revolution.

A modern enterprise is vulnerable — to competitors, attackers, or even inefficiency — without at least one administrator who can make sure that data is safe and applications perform well on the network, regardless of on-premises or cloud connections.

Better, they may ensure off-site services deliver on their significant promise. Network admins actually have an edge over their applications peers in systems engineering in that there are relatively few, but larger network conferences, when compared with application and data centre shows. Events like Interop and Cisco Live® are big and broad enough to cover all your needs in one fell swoop.

For systems and application administrators, more research is required to decipher which specialty conference is most useful for them—is it virtualisation, storage, or something else? They’re also smaller, so building out a plan for the event in which you tick all the boxes you want becomes a challenge. So, is this worth the hassle?

Pain in the SaaS

Whenever the bell rings for another cloud or software-as-a-service project, network administrators tend to wince. For example, hearing the dreaded news that all sales tools will be moving to SaaS is likely to be as irksome as beneficial, at least in the short term. Bullet-proofing internet links is more challenging than one might expect.

>See also: Hybrid cloud: what goes where?

However tempting it may be when businesses are in the middle of something “really important,” they can’t afford to simply look the other way. Regardless of the business model, it’s likely that revenue will take a hit every minute you can’t reach critical off-site applications.

Hybrid is the reality for today’s enterprise, and network administrators should take strides to be equally comfortable when configuring and troubleshooting internal Amazon® Web Services Direct Connect or Azure® VPNs as they are a physical gateway router.

If your organisation is unwilling to invest in time to let you educate yourself about hybrid IT technologies and best practices, then you may be haunted by questions when you least expect them: what’s your automated failover policy for VPN backups? How do you tune your physical router configurations to optimise VPC connections? These questions have answers; you just have to dedicate the resources to answer them as confidently as you do for your physical data centre.

Training day

If something disastrous happened to an admins’ physical network, they’d be able to handle it with aplomb — saunter in, solution at hand, have it rebuilt, and still enjoy their weekend without an emergency Saturday night maintained window.

However, if something went wrong with a VPC endpoint or cloud subnet route configurations, without training, they could be up a creek without a paddle. hybrid IT forces businesses to be just as familiar with cloud-based networks as on-premises core switching.

>See also: The future state of hybrid data environments brings traditional problems

Learning these skills from experts would benefit both you—just think of the depleting stress levels—and your business. Hybrid network training helps you stay ahead of the curve, and to be in a better position to cope with any issues in the future.

Your business would certainly benefit from you learning these skills from experts. Indeed, why wouldn’t network administrators want to be in control of the whole network they’re responsible for? And of course, it also keeps your CV current and yourself an attractive candidate for new opportunities.

So, while time always seems to be tight on budgets and IT priorities lie elsewhere, it’s vitally important for both yourself and your business to ensure that hybrid network training is provided. Don’t risk slipping behind in this brave new hybrid IT world.


Sourced by Patrick Hubbard, head geek™, SolarWinds

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...