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How one computer network architect faced workplace complexity

In this week's blog roundup, analysts explore network architect challenges, e-commerce delivery and HP's failed effort to remain relevant in the cloud.

Network architect and analyst Keith Townsend knows about complicated projects and their potential impacts, as he...

reveals in a recent article shared on LinkedIn. In Townsend's view, the challenges begin as a computer network architect moves higher up the "stack" toward a more senior role in an enterprise. And as responsibilities grow, it's common that architects will encounter problems that stretch beyond their experience levels. For Townsend, the hurdles associated with that transition were driven home, as he labored to troubleshoot a large enterprise webcast system.

The stakes were high: At risk was a $150 million service contract, which might have been lost if the webcast deployment issues weren't addressed.

"An event like this will test not only the technical skill of an architect, but their communications and leadership ability," Townsend writes. In the end, Townsend was able to resolve the problem -- using a combination of technical knowledge, interpersonal skills and a broad-based perspective that included app delivery.

Read more of what Townsend has to say about his work as a computer network architect.

Website performance and e-commerce results

In a recent blog, Steve Brasen, analyst at Enterprise Management Associates Inc., in Boulder, Colo., explores how the online shopping experience impacts e-commerce. Although shoppers are not always aware of it, the website experience plays a critical role in purchasing decisions. "Websites that are friendly, professional and easy to use are far more likely to produce sales than those that are confusing and difficult to navigate," he writes.

Brasen says that any enterprise system deployed to provision resources to end users must be highly focused on the user experience. To ensure self-service provisioning is successful, services must be centralized, highly available and easily accessible. According to Brasen, this access should extend to static, virtual and containerized applications, as well as software as a service and Web applications, secure data stores and SharePoint. He adds that continuous availability -- through a cloud platform or grid environment -- is critical, along with easy, single-click access. Brasen suggests that a website designed intuitively and flexibly is also vital, with lists and paths for accessing services and applications that may fit the user's unique interests.

See more of what Brasen has to say about self-service provisioning.

HP struggles with the cloud

Analyst Amy Larsen DeCarlo of Current Analysis Inc., in Sterling, Va., reports that HP is pulling the plug on Helion, its public cloud, in January. In DeCarlo's view, HP has struggled to remain relevant in infrastructure as a service and public cloud offerings compared to hyperscale-tier cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft.

DeCarlo sees the announcement from HP as indicative of intense competition within the marketplace, as cloud providers undergo consolidation. This industry-wide trend encompasses events such as Dell's purchase of EMC and Windstream's sale of its data center assets to TierPoint LLC. Consolidation is an outcome of the high cost of public cloud services, with industry giants, such as Dell and Microsoft, even partnering to develop a hybrid cloud system. Even AWS is finding common cause with Accenture and Rackspace. According to DeCarlo, the process of consolidation will likely continue into 2016 and beyond.

Read more of what DeCarlo has to say about HP's challenges in the cloud.

Next Steps

How to advance as a computer network architect

Experts expect to see more 2016 cloud consolidation

Building effective e-commerce websites

Dig Deeper on Network Design

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