The One Thing Destroying Office 365 Deployments - and How to Fix It - Part 1
September 11, 2018

Wilfried van Haeren
Edgeworx Solutions

Share this

Market exuberance for Office 365 has inspired business mandates to adopt the cloud-hosted collaboration and productivity suite without regards to the underlying chaos. While multi-location organizations are virtualizing, operating models haven’t necessarily changed. This partial transformation that excludes automation and simplification of the network puts Office 365 deployments (and other software-as-a-service offerings) in danger of failing.

Take banking as an example — IT must design an architecture that can support the varying needs of thousands of branch locations and multiple divisions. Where the consumers at the branches might require online banking and informational video streaming, the trading division (a much smaller subset of the organization that typically makes the bulk of the revenue) will need their applications prioritized.

To achieve this, IT may start to build an overlay network, relaying this blend of application services across the plain old data network and continuing to rely on backhauling. In these situations, when a customer wants to complete a large money transfer or open an account, the data packets of this application may cross an entire continent before going back to a cloud provisioning center that is next-door. Unnecessary travel isn’t just inefficient in cost, bandwidth, and response time — it’s where chaos is born, and impacts application performance and end-user response time through increased latency during transfer.

Chaos Takes Many Forms, But Always Creates the Same Challenges

Chaos isn’t limited to backhauling or using generic devices to route traffic. Instead, it can include:

■ Stacking physical hardware appliances with different network functions in an attempt to enforce business policies at the branch edge of the network

■ Running a separate infrastructure for important business functions

■ Using connectivity that was chosen based on price, rather than performance and agility

■ A network platform lacking orchestration or automation capabilities

Regardless of the exact network configuration, chaos consistently creates the following challenges when attempting to deploy Office 365:

Poor Performance and End-User Experience - Long and inefficient traffic patterns add latency and diminish the user experience. Additionally, without any orchestration or automation there is no distinction between transactional or bulk application types for appropriate performance and availability controls.

Increased Costs - While on the surface, replacing legacy desktop applications appears to be a cost reduction, deploying Office 365 on existing architecture without fine-grained application policy and bandwidth controls leads to increasing connectivity costs to manage the application demands.

Diminished Visibility - The complexity of chaos can lead to confusion or clouding of current bandwidth usage, unimportant traffic traveling across an expensive MPLS connection, and overprovisioning to combat poor performance that is unrelated to bandwidth.

Read The One Thing Destroying Office 365 Deployments - and How to Fix It - Part 2, covering how SD-WAN tames Office 365 chaos.

Wilfried van Haeren is CTO at Edgeworx Solutions
Share this

The Latest

November 09, 2018

In a recent webinar AIOps and IT Analytics at the Crossroads, I was asked several times about the borderline between AIOps and monitoring tools — most particularly application performance monitoring (APM) capabilities. The general direction of the questions was — how are they different? Do you need AIOps if you have APM already? Why should I invest in both? ...

November 08, 2018

There's no place like the web and smartphones for the holidays. With the biggest shopping season of the year quickly approaching, retailers are gearing up to experience the most traffic their online platforms (web, mobile, IoT) have ever seen. To avoid missing out on millions this holiday season, below are the top five ways developers can keep their apps and websites up and running without a hitch ...

November 07, 2018

Usage data is multifaceted, with many diverse benefits. Harvesting usage-driven insights effectively requires both good foundational technology and a nimbleness of mind to unify insights across IT's many silos of domains and disciplines. Because of this, leveraging usage-driven insights can in itself become a catalyst for helping IT as a whole transform toward improved efficiencies and enhanced levels of business alignment ...

November 06, 2018

The requirements to maintain the complete availability and superior performance of your mission-critical workloads is a dynamic process that has never been more challenging. Here are five ways IT teams can measure and guarantee performance-based SLAs in order to increase the value of the infrastructure to the business, and ensure optimal digital performance levels ...

November 05, 2018

APMdigest asked experts from across the IT industry for their opinions on what IT departments should be monitoring to ensure digital performance. Part 5, the final installment, offers some recommendations you may not have thought about ...

November 02, 2018

APMdigest asked experts from across the IT industry for their opinions on what IT departments should be monitoring to ensure digital performance. Part 4 covers the infrastructure, including the cloud and the network ...

November 01, 2018

APMdigest asked experts from across the IT industry for their opinions on what IT departments should be monitoring to ensure digital performance. Part 3 covers the development side ...

October 31, 2018

Halloween is a time for all things spooky, but not when it comes to your mobile app experience. A poor experience can not only scare off your customers but keep them away for good ...

October 30, 2018

APMdigest asked experts from across the IT industry for their opinions on what IT departments should be monitoring to ensure digital performance. Part 2 covers key performance metrics like availability and response time ...

October 29, 2018

In today's digital economy, monitoring is a must. Your customers must be able to access your website and your apps, interact, purchase — and monitoring is one way to make sure this keeps happening. But the first question has to be: What should be monitored? With this in mind, APMdigest asked experts from across the IT industry for their opinions on what IT departments should be monitoring to ensure digital performance. Part 1 starts with a high level view of the end-user and customer ...