Any acquisition presents a certain level of stress, and the CIO’s priority is to minimize that stress as much as possible when merging networks. Avoiding any disruption in service is key, along with reducing networking costs and ensuring that the organization retains its technological advantage over competitors.
Any CIO would agree to these objectives, but how do you arrive at a place where you’ve successfully merged the networks and the broader organization is working without any interruption in connectivity? Consider these five elements to merging networks following an acquisition:
Conduct a network audit. Before embarking on a disruptive network merger, you need to know what your steps should include. Some enterprises hire this initial step out to a network specialist to mitigate risk and to successfully prioritize flexibility in the end product.
Interconnect the two networks: This is a rational next step, and it includes eliminating redundancies once the two networks are merged into one. You’ll also want to replace any leased hardware with owned equipment.
Rationalize core service networks: This handles the network down to the point of presence. While this is a relatively straightforward part of the process, there are still some decisions to be made, such as whether to add the legacy domain of the acquired company to your own domain as a child domain. The other option is to keep them separate and migrate applications and services to the existing domain.
Consider performance: You’ll need to take into account the actual distance between the physical networks, as well as the applications and systems that the users at the acquired location will need to access for some time. If there’s a sizable geographical discrepancy, you’ll need a strategy to handle potential latency and jitter.
Think about SDN: For some situations, merging networks is a great time to consider software-defined networking (SDN). The virtual overlay makes it much more simple to integrate disparate networks, and the inherent upheaval of a merger might be the perfect time to introduce a somewhat radical approach. It’s also a good idea to do it, because you’re already investing significant time in evaluating network needs, and it may cost more later to implement an SDN solution.
The changing complexity and demands on the network with multiplying endpoints and cloud computing mean that merging networks will often present the ideal time for implementing SDN.
When it’s time to implement a change to your network infrastructure, contact usat TailWind. With certified onsite technician support and high-speed broadband connectivity, your end users will never suffer a lapse in connectivity.