Category Archives: Networks

ANTENNA expands service to all UK Critical National Infrastructure providers

FourNet’s trusted, secure, cloud platform and network broadens its digital reach

ANTENNA, the highly secure cloud platform and network which was designed in partnership with the Cabinet Office and supports dozens of UK Government departments, is expanding to cover all UK Critical National Infrastructure providers.

Digital transformation and customer experience specialists, FourNet, have today announced that ANTENNA is being opened up to unlock major digital advantage for a broader range of critical UK organisations.

Developed in partnership with the Cabinet Office, ANTENNA was launched in 2016 and is currently trusted by more than 40 UK government departments.

 

Announcing the expansion, Richard Pennington, CEO of FourNet, said: “Due to demand and requests from the wider CNI providers, we are making our award-winning, highly secure ANTENNA cloud platform available to all UK critical national infrastructure (CNI) providers.

“Because these organisations are delivering critical services that are fundamental to the smooth running of the country, our economy and the nation’s health and wellbeing, there are bigger barriers to digital transformation and a much higher responsibility and duty of care when it comes to cybersecurity, protection of data, and digital resilience.

“That is exactly what ANTENNA has been designed and built for and we are delighted to be unlocking the benefits to a broader range of providers.”

 

A survey carried out by FourNet ahead of today’s ANTENNA announcement, suggests that one in three (33%) of UK organisations see protection against cyber threats as their key digital transformation goal, with nearly half (47%) saying their biggest challenges were cybersecurity risks.

 

Given the proliferation of cybersecurity threats – from malware and ransomware to foreign state sponsored attacks, and the widening attack surface for all businesses, ANTENNA offers CNI organisations many of the world’s leading solutions, including next generation firewalls, enhanced SD-WAN security, endpoint, edge and cloud security and 24/7 cybersecurity monitoring and expertise.

ANTENNA was initially designed as a shared communications, collaboration and contact centre service for Central Government.

Hosted in Tier 4 Government Data Centres, it has evolved into a secure cloud platform for all organisations providing critical services to UK citizens.

 

ANTENNA also offers a full spectrum of market leading services through a range of leading global technology partners including voice, mobile, contact centre, video, messaging and collaboration solutions as well as world-leading network infrastructure, connectivity and cybersecurity services, enabling all CNI organisations to digitally transform safely and securely.

 

Pennington added: “Our expert citizen experience (CX) team is also now at the heart of our expanded ANTENNA service bringing unrivalled data analysis and diagnosis and focusing on operational and citizen outcomes.

“Our CX function makes sure that the ambitions and targets of the UK’s critical organisations and the expectations of UK citizens can be fully met in the safest, most secure way, while helping to reduce costs, improve efficiency and save money for taxpayers.”

 

Critical National Infrastructure is classified as those facilities, systems, sites, information, people, networks and processes necessary for the country to function and upon which daily life depends. This includes chemicals, civil nuclear, communications, defence, emergency services, energy, finance, food, government, health, space, transport and water services.

 

ANTENNA’s technology is itself designated as Critical National Infrastructure and is hosted in highly secure, energy efficient data centres with a focus on sustainability.

The ANTENNA service is available on the CCS RM6116 Network Services 3 (NS3) framework and via the government’s eMarketplace.

 

D-Link launches AI-powered smart mesh router for optimised, more reliable and faster Wi-Fi connectivity

The AQUILA PRO AI AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 Smart Mesh Router combines Wi-Fi 6 technology with AI for the ultimate home networking solution

Router Back

D-Link, a global leader in networking and connectivity technologies, has announced the launch of its new AQUILA PRO AI AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 Smart Mesh Router (M30). This cutting-edge, MIT (Made in Taiwan) quality-assured mesh router is engineered to address Wi-Fi users’ three most common pain points: coverage, speed, and reliability. Featuring a built-in AI algorithm, the AQUILA PRO AI M30 is set to revolutionise the home networking experience.

The AQUILA PRO AI M30 boasts an elegant, wall-mountable design to blend seamlessly with any decor. Its ground-breaking industrial design accommodates five internal antennas, providing enhanced three-dimensional 360-degree coverage, making the M30 an ideal centrepiece for your connected home.

Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice control, users can effortlessly manage their smart home. The AQUILA PRO AI M30 masterfully combines aesthetics and functionality, providing a hassle-free Wi-Fi solution that delivers seamless connectivity, lightning-fast speed, and unmatched reliability for your home network.

Unparalleled Wi-Fi Coverage

The AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 Smart Mesh Router uses a unique antenna array design to extend a stronger Wi-Fi signal, boosting spherical coverage and eliminating dead zones. A single unit can provide coverage of up to 260 sqm and can be easily extended by adding additional AQUILA PRO AI devices, delivering seamless Wi-Fi connectivity for more devices throughout your home.

Blazing-Fast Speed

Powered by Wi-Fi 6 technology, the AQUILA PRO AI M30 delivers extreme speeds of up to 3 Gbps, supporting 160 MHz bandwidth, one Gigabit Internet WAN port, and four Gigabit LAN ports for wired devices such as smart TVs, gaming consoles, and PCs. The M30 ensures ultra-fast Wi-Fi connections, even when the entire family is online.

Rock-Solid Reliability

The AQUILA PRO AI M30 employs innovative AI technology, including AI Wi-Fi Optimiser, AI Mesh Optimiser, and AI Traffic Optimiser, to ensure superior Wi-Fi performance for all your devices. AI Wi-Fi Optimiser selects the optimal channel for minimal interference, while AI Mesh Optimiser provides fast and reliable network coverage using auto path selection and self-healing capabilities. AI Traffic Optimiser guarantees uninterrupted 4K/8K video streaming and video calling with AI-based QoS technology, ensuring a seamless and uninterrupted experience.

Trusted Security

The AQUILA PRO AI M30 complies with the latest WPA3 encryption and IEC 62443-4-1 standards, safeguarding your network against unauthorised access. It also offers parental controls and separate guest networks to ensure the security of all home Wi-Fi devices.

Easy Setup and Management

AQUILA PRO AI M30 is designed for you to effortlessly set up your Wi-Fi network and manage it with the intuitive AQUILA PRO AI App. The AI Assistant monitors network performance and provides weekly reports, even when you are away from home, making it a hassle-free and convenient experience.

Going Green

As part of “D-Link Green,” the AQUILA PRO AI M30 adheres to green design principles. The chassis is made from part of post-consumer recycled (PCR) material, promoting environmental sustainability. The packaging uses 99% natural plant-based Mineral Oil Free (MOF) ink, and the gift box design reduces printing ink usage by over 55%. The M30 also leverages Wi-Fi 6 Target Wake Time (TWT) feature to reduce power consumption and offers a health mode that automatically turns off the router during the night, ensuring energy efficiency.

“AI is driving efficiencies in technologies across the world, and Wi-Fi connectivity should be no different,” said Claude Chou, President of D-Link Europe. “The new AQUILA PRO AI smart mesh router combines artificial intelligence technology with Wi-Fi 6 to deliver the most optimised, reliable and fast connectivity solution, ideal for home working, small offices, and users looking to solve Wi-Fi issues such as poor coverage and slow speeds.”

Availability and Pricing

Please contact your local D-Link office for more information: https://eu.dlink.com

CSPs Align with Enterprise Cloud Strategies

Written by Terry Young, Director of Service Provider Product Marketing, A10 Networks

Cloud transition plans have dominated the CISO agenda for the past decade, accelerated by the rapid shift to working remotely. Now, cloud infrastructure and strategies have moved far beyond the initial reactive approach of the last few years and into a revenue-generating, proactive investment for all modern businesses. Communications service providers (CSPs) are aligning their services and networks to support this trend and most are reporting a positive outcome related to the cloud transition of their enterprise customers.

As technology evolves and digital transformation plans continue to accelerate, enterprises that want to stay competitive are transitioning a portion of their infrastructure to the cloud, focusing on finding the right mix of cloud services to support their mix of applications as well as their current and future plans. These enterprises are looking to communications service providers to help them manage a complex multi-cloud environment as well as including CSP cloud services in that mix.

To this point, in our recent second global survey of over 2,750 senior IT professionals from communication service providers, 63% of respondents told us that they had seen positive outcomes related to this enterprise cloud transition, including higher revenue, increased relevance and the new service offerings

Within the 250 participating UK CSP respondents, this number rises to 69%, with over a quarter (27%) of those surveyed reporting that building out cloud services has directly generated revenue, as customers distribute workloads and data centre functions among private, on-premises and public clouds.

Overall, the global CSP research, conducted across 11 regions and 21 countries, paints a promising picture about the ability of CSPs to offer relevant services to a wide-range of enterprises that are embracing public, private, and hybrid cloud as they continue their digital transformation strategies.

 

Private versus public

The fundamental question for any enterprise looking to migrate a portion of their workflows and applications to the cloud has to be: what are the benefits of private versus public?

Public cloud is far easier and faster to set up and manage, and it offers high scalability and promises more predictable pricing. Enterprises can experience the power of the cloud without the hassles associated with managing the hardware, with the diverse options available providing incredible convenience to the user.

However, because its multi-tenant, there is a lack of customisation, flexibility, control, and significant concerns around security, manageability and service availability. Many organisations turn to private clouds or remain on-premises to gain greater control over the hosting infrastructure and security of their data and ensure continuous availability of services. It was therefore not surprising that we found that 27% of UK CSPs are prioritising DDoS detection and mitigation, with 30% focusing on upgrading firewalls and other security appliances, clearly indicating that CSPs are working hard to minimise security risks in their cloud offerings for customers and to prevent any service outages or degradation from DDoS attacks. In addition, 27% of global CPS are building or improving DDoS cloud scrubbing services for their enterprise customers.

In 2021, we conducted our first global CSP research, surveying more than 1,250 CSP respondents across five countries. With 61% of UK respondents scaling up infrastructure across the entire network in response to growing traffic and COVID pressure, the UK was the most ambitious country of all five regions. It is interesting to note that the ease of public cloud appealed to nearly half of all UK respondents at the time, with 48% of CSPs accelerating public cloud investment.

Two years later, one in five respondents reported that they have evolved to offer public cloud and managed data centre services to their customers, with great success. The same proportion of respondents (21%) identified that their organisation’s newly differentiated services have increased their relevance to customers.

 

Not all heads are in the cloud

Despite the clear enthusiasm for cloud across enterprise IT conversations, one-fifth of CSP respondents in our 2023 CSP research had a different experience with their enterprise customers. One-fifth (20%) of CSPs said that most of their enterprise customers prefer their on-premises solutions and have no intention of migrating their data onto either public or private cloud.

Of course, for enterprises that need to maintain full control over their data in highly regulated sectors such as finance and healthcare, this trend is likely to continue. CSPs are therefore having to maintain and innovate to provide a wide range of hosting options – on-premises, public, private and/or hybrid – to fulfil the needs of every customer.

 

CSPs are facilitating ambitious growth

As enterprises hone and scale their cloud environments, CSPs are ensuring that other network investments align with their enterprise customers’ intentions. When asked what factors mattered most in purchasing new network equipment, 30% of our surveyed CSPs stated that equipment needed to be in a cloud-native form factor and deployable in an edge environment.

The cloud continues to be important to UK business leaders, with 62% of organisations planning to increase cloud budgets over the next twelve months, according to Pluralsight’s latest State of Cloud Report, despite ongoing economic pressures.

As well as more investment, UK businesses are also working to get their cloud strategy ‘just right’, to make it as effective as possible. Pluralsight’s research also reveals that 90% of UK businesses are making changes to their cloud strategies – from migrating to new cloud providers (21%) to moving between on-premises and cloud (20%).

In 2023, we can expect to see companies continuing to leverage cloud services in order to access new and innovative technologies as well as drive efficiencies in their own operations and processes and for CSPs to continue to evolve their network and services to meet that need. This is reflected in our most recent report, with CSPs expecting demand to continue to grow and that enterprise cloud migration is having a positive impact.

How your business can work with Direct Mail Companies to Generate New Leads.

Creating an effective strategy to generate new leads is crucial for any business. Direct mail companies in London offer a unique and highly effective approach to reaching potential customers. This article explores how businesses can collaborate with these companies to boost their lead generation efforts.

Understanding Direct Mail and Its Benefits

Direct mail involves sending physical marketing materials, such as brochures, postcards, or catalogues, directly to potential customers. Unlike digital marketing, direct mail provides a tangible experience, creating a lasting impression. Key benefits include targeted reach, personalized content, and measurable results.

Choosing the Right Direct Mail Company in London

London hosts a variety of direct mail companies, each with its own specialties and strengths.  You can always start with a search for ‘direct mail companies London’ – but an even better way to start is to ask fellow business owners at local networking groups for a recommendation.  Networking may also give you another way of picking up leads too!

You will probably find online searches and recommendations help you put together a shortlist, and you can go from there.  When selecting a partner, consider their experience, range of services, and success stories. Ensure they understand your industry and target audience.

Integrating Direct Mail into Your Marketing Strategy

Direct mail should complement your existing marketing efforts. Develop a cohesive strategy where direct mail works in synergy with your digital campaigns, enhancing the overall impact. This integrated approach ensures a consistent brand message across all channels.

Personalization and Targeting

The success of direct mail campaigns hinges on personalization and targeting. Work with your chosen direct mail company to segment your audience and tailor messages accordingly. Personalized mailings resonate more with recipients, increasing the likelihood of engagement.

Design and Content

The design and content of your mail pieces are crucial. They should be eye-catching, yet aligned with your brand identity. Professional design and compelling copywriting are key to making your mail stand out in a crowded mailbox.

Measuring Success and ROI

Partner with a direct mail company that offers robust tracking and analytics. This allows you to measure the success of your campaigns in terms of response rates, lead quality, and return on investment (ROI). Continuous monitoring and adjustment are vital for ongoing success.

Building Long-Term Relationships

Effective direct mail campaigns can help in building long-term relationships with customers. Include calls-to-action (CTAs) that encourage further engagement, such as visiting your website or signing up for a newsletter.

Compliance and Best Practices

Ensure that your direct mail campaigns comply with relevant regulations, such as GDPR in the UK. Your direct mail partner should be well-versed in these regulations and help you navigate them.

Conclusion

Working with direct mail companies in London can significantly enhance your lead generation efforts. By choosing the right partner, integrating direct mail into your broader marketing strategy, and focusing on personalization and targeting, you can effectively reach and engage your desired audience. Remember, the key to success lies in a well-planned strategy, compelling content, and consistent evaluation of results.

Boost Cloud Defence by Combining Application Delivery with Next-Gen WAF and Build Resilience for Hybrid Cloud Environments

Written by Anthony Webb, Vice President, A10 International, A10 Networks

In today’s modern business landscape, outside of any macro issues or economic uncertainty, there are two significant technology challenges that enterprises are grappling with. The first challenge is around the constantly evolving threat landscape, and the growing sophistication of cybercriminals and their techniques. This means the risk of an application attack and a data breach is an ever-present threat that enterprises must contend with.

The other key challenge is around the effectiveness and economics of cloud operating models. Without a doubt, over the last decade digital transformation has catapulted many businesses forward, many of whom can now claim to be ‘true’ digital businesses servicing their customers in new and exciting ways. However, in this new digital and hybrid cloud environment, enterprises are highly concerned about how they can best secure, optimise, and automate their infrastructure in the most effective and cost-efficient way.

Applications must be consistently available 

Today, organisations must guarantee their applications are consistently and securely accessible, no matter the location, to ensure the best end-user experience and productivity. This includes ensuring workloads are efficiently distributed across all servers, monitoring application health, and maintaining operational integrity around the clock. However, when you add in the need to protect against a rise in application attacks and an ever-increasing number of bad actors targeting the organisation, the scale of these challenges starts to become clearer. Likewise, complex deployments coupled with regular maintenance and often limited resources dedicated to cybersecurity are exacerbating the risk to organisations further.

In this environment, with cybercriminals constantly evolving their tactics to exploit vulnerabilities in systems, a layered defence strategy that provides comprehensive protection against a wide range of threats is essential. At the same time, a solution that also helps to deliver better business outcomes, enabling organisations to optimise the customer experience, and ensure business continuity, is highly desirable.

Combining ADC with next-gen web application firewall

Combining an application delivery controller (ADC) and a next-gen web application firewall (WAF) creates a robust security solution that supports the principles of a Zero Trust security framework. As organisations seek to establish a more efficient, effective, and secure cloud operating model, these two combined technologies enable a highly performant security solution at a strategic application ingress point that reduces false positives and automates security, empowering agility and effectiveness. The ADC efficiently sifts through the myriad of threats, while the next-gen WAF efficiently provides defence against more sophisticated web attacks.

How does this layered defence approach work

To explain in a bit more detail how this layered defence works, let’s start with the ADC. ADCs can provide load balancing and transport layer security (TLS) offloading, which can help reduce the attack surface by minimising the number of entry points into the system. This mitigates the impact of volume-based attacks, such as DDoS or brute-force attacks. On the other hand, next-gen WAFs can provide deep packet inspection and advanced threat detection capabilities, enabling them to identify and block attacks such as account takeover (ATO), known CVEs, injections, cross-site scripting (XSS), and other OWASP Top 10 attacks.

Earlier in the year, we partnered with Fastly to offer its next-gen WAF with our Thunder® ADCs to provide our customers with a premier next-generation web application firewall solution running on high-performance hardware and virtual platforms for businesses operating in a highly competitive market. This enables organisations to protect their apps against advanced threats with greater accuracy while gaining superior application availability and accelerating content delivery.

Digital transformation initiatives will continue to evolve

Unfortunately, digital transformation is not a one and done initiative. Moving forward, enterprises will continue to evolve their environments as new technologies inevitably emerge. Likewise, the cyber threat landscape will undoubtedly continue to expand, very likely at the same pace as we’re seeing currently—if not faster. Organisations must, therefore, stay vigilant, never compromise and make sure that they have a layered defence approach to protect their business.

D-Link unveils new Video Surveillance-Enhanced Gigabit PoE Smart Switch Series

The DSS-200G Series Gigabit PoE Smart Surveillance Switches are ideal for businesses of all sizes looking to bolster IP video surveillance setups

(DSS-200G-10MP, DSS-200G-10MPP, DSS-200G-28MP, DSS-200G-28MPP)

D-Link, a global leader in networking and connectivity technologies, has announced the launch of the DSS-200G Series Gigabit Smart Surveillance Switches. The DSS-200G series switches come with surveillance-enhanced features designed to meet the surveillance requirements for businesses of all sizes, including monitoring, management, and troubleshooting tools, making surveillance network management easier and quicker than ever.

The new surveillance-enhanced 10/28-port smart-managed switches offer comprehensive surveillance features with optimised traffic handling, PoE support, easy configuration, troubleshooting tools and simplified deployment. They also come equipped with an intuitive web interface and layer 2 network management features, making it easy to add management capabilities to business networks without complicated setups. The optional Surveillance Mode automatically detects D-Link and third-party IP cameras and NVRs, giving real-time access to device and system information such as PoE power usage and budget, bandwidth utilisation and device status. Auto Surveillance VLAN feature separates surveillance devices’ traffic from the rest of the network, ensuring data security and prioritising surveillance traffic.

Additionally, the series utilises a DIP switch that allows users to quickly and easily turn functions such as QoS on and off, extending PoE connection up to 250m, isolating ports, enabling PD-Alive and spanning tree protocol without the need to access the device’s web configuration. As a result, businesses looking to expand their network, install IP cameras up to 250 metres away, and save costs when deploying devices such as wireless access points, network cameras or IP phones stand to benefit the most from the hardware.

The DSS-200G Series switches have high PoE power budgets with up to 90W PoE++ support – ideal for powering and connecting demanding devices such as video conferencing systems and displays, making them ideal for businesses looking to deploy a future-proof network. They also come equipped with 6kV surge protection against sudden electrical surges caused by lightning or unstable electrical currents.

“At D-Link, we understand that security and surveillance are crucial for all businesses, regardless of their scale and size,” said Claude Chou, President of D-Link Europe. “The DSS-200G series is ideal for businesses looking to empower surveillance setups with an easy-to-use, cost-effective and reliable switch, which keeps data reliability and functionality in mind.”

Availability and Pricing

Contact your local D-Link office for more information

https://eu.dlink.com

Colt strengthens best-in-class optical network portfolio with new Nokia partnership

Collaboration strengthens Colt’s ecosystem of best-in-class technology partners, helping customers future proof their networks.

Colt Technology Services, the digital infrastructure company, today announces a collaboration with Nokia, the technology and innovation leader. The partnership boosts Colt’s multi-vendor offering, strengthening network capabilities and providing customers with flexibility and choice.

Enhancing the Colt IQ Network’s capability, the collaboration brings Nokia’s 1830 product family along with Wavesuite software suite into Colt’s current optical network solutions. Nokia’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) and Wavelite products provides scalable optimised end-to-end optical transport solutions for enterprise, data centre interconnect, metro, regional and long-haul networks. Colt will also deploy the Nokia Wavesuite software suite for delivering network automation.

Colt’s Optical portfolio provides the very highest levels of network performance for backbone connections, inter-data centre connectivity and other high bandwidth requirements. All of Colt’s optical services can be provided on defined network routes and fibre paths with varied options for diversity, service redundancy and resilience.

This multi-faceted development sees Colt leverage an industry-leading combination of hardware and software innovation from Nokia to provide enriched high bandwidth and software-defined connectivity enabled by Nokia Wavesuite software across its optical solutions for customers globally.

Vivek Gaur, VP of Network Engineering at Colt said: “By partnering with Nokia, we’re expanding our ecosystem of technology partners, enabling our customers to consume our always-on optical solutions  and providing the flexibility our customers need in their digital transformation journey.”

James Watt, President of the Optical Networks Division, at Nokia said: “We’re excited to partner with Colt to broaden their range of next-generation solutions. With bandwidth demands increasing globally, Nokia’s 1830 PSS family delivers market-leading coherent transport and WDM/ROADM technologies to future-proof Colt’s optical network solutions to meet customer’s needs.”

About Colt Technology Services

Colt Technology Services (Colt) is a global digital infrastructure company which creates extraordinary connections to help businesses succeed. Powered by amazing people and like-minded partners, Colt is driven by its purpose: to put the power of the digital universe in the hands of its customers, wherever, whenever and however they choose.

Since 1992, Colt has set itself apart through its deep commitment to its customers, growing from its heritage in the City of London to more than 60 offices around the world. The powerful Colt IQ Network connects 222 cities and 32 countries with more than 1000 data centres, 51 Metropolitan Area Networks and over 31,000 buildings across Europe, Asia and North America’s largest business hubs. Privately owned, Colt is one of the most financially sound companies in the sector.

Obsessed with delivering industry-leading customer experience, Colt is guided by its dedication to customer innovation, by its values and its responsibility to its customers, partners, people and planet.

For more information, please visit www.colt.net

About Nokia

Nokia creates technology that helps the world act together.  As a B2B technology innovation leader, Nokia is pioneering networks that sense, think and act by leveraging our work across mobile, fixed and cloud networks. In addition, Nokia creates value with intellectual property and long-term research, led by the award-winning Nokia Bell Labs. Service providers, enterprises and partners worldwide trust Nokia to deliver secure, reliable and sustainable networks today – and work to create the digital services and applications of the future. For more information, visit www.Nokia.com.

Communication Service Providers Expect Strong Demand

A10 Research Shows that Industry Optimism is a Driving Force for Investments, Reforms and Growth

Written by Terry Young, Director of Service Provider Product Marketing, A10 Networks

2023 will be a year of growth within the communication service provider (CSP) market according to new data from A10 Networks’ latest research. Its biannual Global Communication Service Provider Insights report was undertaken to understand the priorities, expectations, and perspectives of senior IT professionals in CSPs across the globe by interviewing 2,750 senior IT professionals in a variety of roles across 21 countries.

We found that despite supply chain struggles and economic uncertainties, providers are expecting consistent growth in traffic which they will match by investing in improved security and coverage.

This growth is the driving cause of planned reforms, but it is not the only factor encouraging CSPs to make changes. The need to close the digital divide by expanding coverage to previously underserved communities, to counter increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks by enhancing cybersecurity measures, and to keep up with the ever-changing global compliance and regulations landscape are catalysts for current and future investments.

Robust Market Growth

Although there are several key themes from the report, the central one, and the one driving other investments and reforms, is the expectation of demand. Ninety-nine percent of the CSPs surveyed expect to see growth in traffic volumes in the coming two to three years, with almost half (48%) expecting traffic to rise by between 50 and 75 percent, while one in five expects to see growth of more than 75 percent.

The pandemic surge in traffic that stretched networks to their limits may have been a one-off, but coming growth will be more consistent and sustained. Confidence is now the main driver of reform according to those surveyed, which in turn will lead to vital improvements in network security.

This optimism contrasts with our 2021 CSP report, which illustrated how the pandemic led to economic insecurity and therefore a pause in investments and expansions – even in the face of surging demand.

Overcoming Connection Inequality

Providing a secure and reliable connection to hard-to-reach or previously economically unviable areas is crucial to reducing inequality and ensuring future growth – and so is a key area of focus for CSPs in 2023.

The survey showed that 69 percent of respondents aim to expand their networks to unserved and underserved communities. Among these, half are expecting to achieve an uplift of more than 10 percent on their current subscriber base and 19 percent are expanding for an uplift of more than 50 percent.

Improving Security 

In the last survey, we found that much of 2021’s investment focused on basic cyber hygiene such as upgrading firewalls. This year, however, respondents were aiming for a more mature, multi-layered, and defence-in-depth approach – where DDoS detection and monitoring is a much higher priority and is complemented with security policy automation as well as ransomware and malware protection.

DDoS detection and monitoring are now a priority for 27 percent, while 26 percent are prioritising investment in ransomware and malware protection services. The same percentage are looking to focus on security policy automation and the simplification and integration of disparate point solutions.

CSPs must continue to improve their network security if they want to keep up with the growing number and sophistication of cyberattacks. With threats evolving rapidly to target the ever-widening attack surface and lengthening digital supply chains, CSPs and security vendors must be proactive, flexible, and nimble.

Cloud Migration Success 

As customers continue to transform to digital businesses and migrate to the cloud, CSPs can now assess the impact this is having on their business. For almost two-thirds of respondents to the survey (63%), it has been positive.

One-quarter have seen direct revenue growth, one in five has evolved to offer public cloud and managed data centre services, and 19 percent have differentiated their services so that they stay relevant and match changing customer demand. Inversely, only 16 percent of respondents said they had lost revenue because of this shift to cloud-based data storage.

Cloud is affecting CSP buying decisions, too. A cloud-native form factor was the top purchasing criterion for new network equipment, while integration with existing networks and systems was also high on the list.

Rising demand will put increasing pressure on CSPs to overcome IP address scarcity by making the switch to IPv6, which will exponentially increase the number of addresses for sites on the web. However, the study showed that only 30 percent expect to successfully achieve this in the next two to three years. Instead, more than one-third are adopting a strategy of carefully managing their IPv4 pools and gradually transitioning to IPv6, while 34 percent aim to run the two in parallel.

Industry Pressures Remain

Despite general optimism around growth, the global CSP community is still dealing with a significant number of challenges – namely the fallout from the pandemic as well as the invasion of Ukraine. The first priority for those surveyed were the number of vulnerable application programming interfaces (APIs) left exposed by the use of AI, open source, and application modernisation more generally.

The second most common concern was around supply chains with more than a third of respondents saying that issues have meant that they couldn’t find the staff to meet their growth expectations. Challenge number-three was the constant struggle to provide a quality service and avoid outages.

What Next?

The research shows that CSPs are at a crucial point as they aim to capitalise on demand and seize opportunities to grow and diversify. To realise their full potential, service providers need to scale their networks while ensuring they are increasingly secure.

CSPs should work with security partners to scale and transform their networks safely. This process should include the overhaul of legacy systems with the use of AI, machine learning, and threat intelligence capabilities that match the rapidly evolving and ever numerous cyberthreats present in the market.

 

Robust Growth Expectations are Fuelling Network Security Investment, Reveal Communication Service Providers in UK Research from A10 Networks

All the UK communication service providers (CSPs) surveyed believe robust growth in traffic volumes will continue in the next 2-3 years with two-thirds (67%) expecting traffic to rise by 50% or more. 

 

A10 Networks today published research, Global Communication Service Providers: Market Growth Fuels Security Investments, revealing the priorities, expectations, and perspectives of CSPs across the globe as they evolve and expand their services and infrastructure in an increasingly complex digital environment.

The study was undertaken by independent research organisation, Opinion Matters, among 2,750 senior IT professionals from a range of communication service providers across 11 regions around the world, with 250 UK respondents surveyed.*

It found that all (100%) of UK service providers surveyed expect to see traffic volumes rise in the next 2-3 years. Two thirds of respondents expect to see traffic increase by 50% or more – with one quarter (25%) believing it will soar by 75% or more.

As a result, four key themes ran throughout A10 Networks’ second UK CSP survey. These were: focusing on investment, preparing for growth, expanding services to meet underserved communities, and seizing opportunities to expand into new markets with new services.

Commenting on the positive growth levels, Anthony Webb, vice-president of A10 International, said: “These predictions align with the sustained traffic growth we’ve seen in recent years. Although the pandemic created a one-off burst in growth which we witnessed in our 2021 survey, with 98% of UK CSPs surveyed stating this, we are now seeing more sustained patterns emerging which show continuing growth at a considerable rate. Likewise, these positive growth levels are creating both the urgency and the confidence for CSPs to undertake substantial investment projects.”

 

Network security strategy is becoming more sophisticated and diverse

The survey found that UK respondents’ top three priorities for network security investments were:

  • 32% simplification and integration of disparate, disconnected point security solutions.
  • 32% ransomware and malware protection services.
  • 30% upgrading firewalls.

Anthony Webb continues: “Although upgrading firewalls and other security appliances was in the top 3, this was less dominant than it was two years ago when we did our first CSP survey. This points to the fact that today’s network security strategy must be wide-ranging, with a well-rounded approach that can handle the full spectrum of emerging threats to maintain a high quality, reliable, and secure service for customers.”

 

Providers are working to close the digital divide

Alongside investing in network security, UK CSPs are planning to expand their networks to reach unserved or underserved communities:

  • 63% of UK respondents say they are expanding their networks to unserved/underserved communities.
  • 49% are planning to expand for an uplift of more than 10% of their current subscriber base.
  • 14% are expanding for an uplift of more than 50%.
  • 37% are planning to build additional data centres and expand to provide additional capacity for other service providers.

Anthony Webb added: “Connecting communities is central to reducing inequality and supporting digital opportunities, so it is heartening to see this positive direction of travel. Combining this with robust security strategies will result in more people and communities worldwide benefitting from safe, reliable digital services.”

 

Enterprise cloud migration is having a positive impact

Enterprise cloud migration has been a strong trend over the past decade, accelerated by the pandemic. The survey found that UK CSPs are now focusing on finding the right mix of cloud services to support future plans:

  • Overall, 69% of UK respondents report a positive outcome related to their cloud transition.
  • 27% say it has directly generated revenue.
  • 21% say they have evolved to offer public cloud and managed data centre services.
  • 21% now have differentiated services that have increased their relevance to customers.

Anthony Webb comments: “It is interesting to see that one in four CSPs say they have gained revenue as customers have distributed workloads and data centre functions between private, on premises and public cloud. This cloud transition is also evident when it comes to key purchasing criteria for network equipment, as being in a cloud-native form factor was a must-have criteria, with 30% saying this.”

 

IPv6 transition remains an ongoing challenge

Worldwide demand, as CSPs globally add more subscribers, has made IPv4 addresses scarce. Providers therefore need to plan for transition to IPv6. However, the survey shows that only 34% of UK respondents expect to achieve this in the next 2-3 years.

  • More than one third (34%) are adopting a strategy of carefully managing their IPv4 pools and gradually transitioning to IPv6.
  • 32% aim to run the two in parallel.

Anthony Webb concludes: “This shows that CSPs are adopting a more cautious approach to IPv6 adoption, leveraging existing investment and carefully managing existing IPv4 addresses or running the two in parallel, rather than accelerating full transition plans.

“A10 Networks’ Global Communication Service Providers: Market Growth Fuels Security Investments report shows that CSPs are at a crucial point as they aim to capitalise on demand and seize opportunities to grow and diversify their business. To realise their full potential, service providers need to scale and protect their networks so the infrastructure they provide is secure and highly available.”

The global report also contains analysis of variations between individual countries and regions surveyed. Download the full report here: Global Communication Service Providers: Market Growth Fuels Security Investments

*Methodology: A10 Networks commissioned a survey, undertaken by an independent research organisation, Opinion Matters, in January 2023. 2,750 senior IT professionals from a range of communications service providers were surveyed from a variety of operators including: mobile, fixed-line telecom, cable, converged, MVNO and MVNA and OTT providers. This is the second global research survey A10 Networks has undertaken into the communication service provider environment expanding on the previous study conducted in 2021. Markets surveyed were UK, Southern Europe, US, Germany, India, Middle East, Benelux, Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific, Nordics, Central & South America.

A10 Networks (NYSE: ATEN) provides secure application services for on-premises, multi-cloud and edge-cloud environments at hyperscale. Our mission is to enable service providers and enterprises to deliver business-critical applications that are secure, available and efficient for multi-cloud transformation and 5G readiness.

We deliver better business outcomes that support investment protection, new business models and help future-proof infrastructures, empowering our customers to provide the most secure and available digital experience. Founded in 2004, A10 Networks is based in San Jose, Calif. and serves customers globally. For more information, visit www.a10networks.com and follow us @A10Networks.

Xalient Launches Next Generation AIOps Platform Martina 2.0

Real-time monitoring, anomaly detection and behavioural analysis for optimal user experience

Secure network transformation specialist Xalient today announced the launch of its next generation AI-driven network intelligence platform, Martina 2.0. Martina 2.0 is a comprehensive AIOps platform designed to focus on the user experience across different locations. By analysing the operations of devices within each location, Martina 2.0 ensures high levels of resilience and performance are maintained, enabling customers to deliver a consistent, positive user experience across the organisation’s network.

A robust and efficient solution for managing network devices across multiple locations, Martina 2.0 ensures high availability, resilience, and in essence makes the network invisible to users by providing customers with secure, reliable, predictable and performant connectivity – all the time. Providing network telemetry, reporting, observability, behavioural analysis, and network intelligence, Martina 2.0 delivers a visual representation and real-time monitoring of the user experience, predicting and trouble-shooting potential issues before they arise.

Martina 2.0 is built with advanced modular aspects which include:

  • Martina Observe, for network telemetry, reporting and observability.
  • Martina Predict, which incorporates context-gathering capabilities to provide richer insights around network behaviour and anomaly detection.  Martina Predict ingests device statistics such as utilisation, latency and packet loss using machine learning algorithms to forecast future values, detect anomalies in real-time and identify seasonal patterns and trends.

Martina 1.0 was originally launched on-premises in 2021 through a Partnership with the University of Bradford and Innovate UK which started in 2019. Today several tier one customers, via Martina’s dashboard, can easily see what is happening within their infrastructure and triage the most important alerts. Now Martina 2.0, the latest cloud installation, transforms Martina from a virtual network assistant into a comprehensive AIOps platform. One that enables customers, via a single pane of glass, to have rapid and accurate visibility of any issues that need to be prioritised and addressed.

 

Commenting on the Partnership, Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Network said in February 2023: “This Partnership has been graded ‘outstanding’ and we would like to congratulate all those involved in achieving this excellent outcome and to thank Xalient for its contribution to the ongoing success of this AI-driven network intelligence initiative.”

 

Intuitive design and scalable operational capabilities

Via a convenient mobile app, the C-Suite and CIOs/CISOs have complete visibility into the network service with easy-to-use, accurate data – at any time. With its modular design and scalable architecture Martina 2.0 can easily be expanded and adapted to accommodate growing and changing network requirements. And its out-of-the-box integration with popular IT service management (ITSM) platforms means there is streamlined communication between teams with faster response times, more effective issues resolution, and overall improved network operations.

 

Stephen Amstutz, Director of Innovation, Xalient, comments: “Through a very intuitive and easy-to-use interface, this next generation of Martina lets our managed services team – in collaboration with the customer – know exactly what alerts they need to be prioritising. This enables both Xalient and our customers to be more proactive in our impact assessments. For example, we could be monitoring over 2,000 sites and there might be 10 sites where we are experiencing a loss or impact to the service. We don’t have to wait for the customer to call us and point this out, we can proactively predict, monitor and prioritise action, reaching out to their support desk with our diagnostics to quickly resolve the issue.”

 

In summary, Martina 2.0 key features include:

  • Real-time user experience monitoring
  • Availability monitoring for optimal user experience
  • Simple colour-coded system status indicators
  • Automatic device failure detection and recovery
  • Customisable notifications and alerts
  • Comprehensive reporting on device performance and user experience indicators
  • Scalable and flexible architecture for evolving network infrastructure needs
  • Out-of-the-box integration with popular ITSM platforms
  • Behavioural analysis and forecasting including seasonal trends recognition
  • Context gathering and real-time anomaly detection
  • Comprehensive network data collection
  • Metrics for impact assessment and issues location
  • Automated root cause analysis and network troubleshooting

 

The next advanced module of Martina (Resolve) is already in development and in addition to all the above features will enable automated resolution. Martina 2.0 is part of Xalient’s Innovation Suite which includes its intelligent connectivity and cloud access solution, SONA. SONA is delivered as a complete managed service and provides cloud and inter-region connectivity in a more cost-effective OPEX model, simplifying the networking overheads for the customer, while improving the performance of their cloud services. Also included is WANDA, which enables organisations to deploy and maintain networks at speed and scale with consistent accuracy.

Xalient has experienced rapid growth in recent years, receiving recognition from both the Sunday Times Hundred 2022 list of Britain’s fastest-growing private companies and the FEBE Growth 100 list, which champions Britain’s fastest-growing, founder-led private companies. This success is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Xalient team. As Xalient looks to the future, with its advanced next generation AIOps platform, it is committed to continued growth and success, building on its achievements, and striving to be at the forefront of its industry. To learn more about Xalient and its services, visit www.xalient.com