Many organisations are seriously considering the deployment of Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange Online, or have indeed done so already.
Migrating to Office 365 represents a significant step for any business. It introduces opens the way for new work practices, a broad suite of new tools, and provides opportunities for re-imagining productivity.
Yet while the benefits of Office 365 are clear, there are also demands and risks that need to be taken into account. Here we take a look at those considerations, and how they can be mitigated. The first in this series of articles will look at how to design a fit-for-purpose network infrastructure for accessing and using Office 365.
What demands does Office 365 place on your network?
Moving the majority of a company’s current data and communications into any cloud-based service relies on having highly available, high-speed Internet connectivity, and a migration to Office 365 is no different. If an Internet link goes down, everyone’s ability to access current working documents, communicate through email, and host meetings through Skype is simply gone. Provisioning a reliable network infrastructure may include the following considerations.
Securing sufficient Internet capacity for each office building or campus. The actual traffic an organisation needs to support will have to be analysed and managed over time, but it will certainly be significantly higher with cloud-based applications compared to historical requirements when much of the total network traffic was kept inside the organisation.
Considering the acquisition of redundant network links for high priority office locations. Diversity of telecommunications provider and diversity of physical connectivity methods will help assure high levels of service.
Deciding how to design the firewall topology. Organisations that currently use a centralised firewall topology are likely to find that a decentralised topology provides much better quality-of-service to employees at each office location. Of course, this will have flow-on effects, raising the need for centrally managing multiple firewalls, and having a methodology for keeping the firewall rules consistent across the environment.
What’s the solution?
In the cloud era, and particularly with Office 365 migrations, network firewalls must do more than secure your network. They must also ensure you have uninterrupted network availability and robust access to cloud-hosted applications.
Barracuda CloudGen Firewall is a family of physical appliance, virtual, and cloud-based appliances that protect and enhance your dispersed network infrastructure. They deliver advanced security by tightly integrating a comprehensive set of next-generation firewall technologies, including Layer 7 application profiling, intrusion prevention, web filtering, malware and advanced threat protection, antispam protection, and network access control.
Barracuda’s cloud-ready firewalls are ideal for multi-site enterprises and other organisations with complex, dispersed network infrastructures. Check out this short video to see how it works.
How can I find out more?
As Barracuda Partners, Complete IT Systems can offer you expert advice on the solutions and how they could be effectively deployed in your business.
To find out more please call us on 01274 396 213 or use our contact form and we’ll arrange a good time to call you back.