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

March 25, 2019

Data-driven applications are helping drive cloud growth, according to a survey by Unravel Data. The data also reveals that enterprises are most concerned with a lack of sufficient technical talent to properly manage these data systems as well as the perceived high cost of deploying a modern data infrastructure ...

March 21, 2019

Achieving audit compliance within your IT ecosystem can be an iterative process, and it doesn't have to be compressed into the five days before the audit is due. Following is a four-step process I use to guide clients through the process of preparing for and successfully completing IT audits ...

March 20, 2019

Network performance issues come in all shapes and sizes, and can require vast amounts of time and resources to solve. Here are three examples of painful network performance issues you're likely to encounter this year, and how NPMD solutions can help you overcome them ...

March 19, 2019

"Scale up" versus "scale out" doesn't just apply to hardware investments, it also has an impact on product features. "Scale up" promotes buying the feature set you think you need now, then adding "feature modules" and licenses as you discover additional feature requirements are needed. Often as networks grow in size they also grow in complexity ...

March 18, 2019

Network Packet Brokers play a critical role in gaining visibility into new complex networks. They deliver the packet data and information IT and security teams need to identify problems, recognize security issues, and ensure overall network performance. However, not all Packet Brokers are created equal when it comes to scalability. Simply "scaling up" your network infrastructure at every growth point is a more complex and more expensive endeavor over time. Let's explore three ways the "scale up" approach to infrastructure growth impedes NetOps and security professionals (and the business as a whole) ...

March 15, 2019

Loyal users are the key to your service desk's success. Happy users want to use your services and they recommend your services in the organization. It takes time and effort to exceed user expectations, but doing so means keeping the promises we make to our users and being careful not to do too much without careful consideration for what's best for the organization and users ...

March 14, 2019

What's the difference between user satisfaction and user loyalty? How can you measure whether your users are satisfied and will keep buying from you? How much effort should you make to offer your users the ultimate experience? If you're a service provider, what matters in the end is whether users will keep coming back to you and will stay loyal ...

March 13, 2019

What if I said that a 95% reduction in the amount of IT noise, 99% reduction in ticket volume and 99% L1 resolution rate are not only possible, but that some of the largest, most complex enterprises in the world see these metrics in their environments every day, thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)? Would you dismiss that as belonging to the realm of science fiction? ...

March 12, 2019
As a consumer, when you order products online, how do you expect them to get delivered? Some key requirements are: the product must arrive on time, well-packed, and ultimately must give you an easy gateway to return it if it is not as per your expectations. All this has been made possible via a single application. But what if this application doesn't function the way you want or cracks down mid-way, or probably leaks off information about you to some potential hackers? Technical uncertainty and digital chaos are the two double-edged swords dangling over this billion-dollar ecommerce market. Can Quality Assurance and Software Testing save application developers from this endless juggle? ...
March 11, 2019

Of those surveyed, 96% of organizations have a digital transformation strategy, with 57% approaching it as an enterprise-wide priority, with a clear emphasis on speed of business, costs, risk, and customer satisfaction, according to IDC’s Aligning IT Strategies and Business Expectations for Digital Transformation Success, sponsored by EasyVista ...