In this era of Digitization, Cloud and Internet of Things (IoT), the traditional enterprise networks are going through a transformation driven by the explosion of smart devices coupled with applications moving out of the perimeter of a traditional datacenter into the hybrid/public cloud, and the emergence of broadband as a viable transport. Many IT organizations are under the pressure to meet the growing bandwidth demands of rich media, mobile traffic, and cloud applications in their enterprise branch sites. The traditional legacy networks cannot scale to meet these unpredictable workloads over the WAN hence resulting in poor user experiences and slowing down business response times.
Enterprise needs are evolving
Enterprises today want to have the flexibility of different WAN types. They want an architecture that helps connect users to applications by virtualizing and simplifying the WAN deployments by providing a highly intuitive, policy driven solution that helps IT abstract network complexity and design for business intent.
Virtual networks are ideal for enterprises:
- That have a distributed organization with multiple remote locations
- That have lines of businesses with aging networks requiring a hardware refresh
- That have disparate networks across branch, DC and campus and have the need for a unified overlay with unified polices driven by business intent
- That are early technology adopters looking to either optimize OpEx and CapEx costs and/or adopt newer business models
- That are embracing more of the cloud technologies either for Software as a Service (SaaS) or for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Networks are the foundation for innovation
In recent research on Office 365, Gartner analysts highlighted that “Through 2019, more than half of all global-scale deployments of Microsoft Office 365 will experience network-related performance problems”. This, along with other application problems, are frustrating CIOs and IT leaders and stifling innovation in the enterprise. Historical reasons have forced IT leaders to perceive networking as a piece of infrastructure rather than a foundation for delivery of an innovative application experience.
In my subsequent blogs, I will provide an in-depth perspective into these problems and how network infrastructure is changing to address them. Networks, much like compute infrastructure, are in the process of fundamental shifts in technology and consumption models, driven by a software-defined approach. There is a need for thoughtful integration of security, routing, policy and management in order to meet the needs of large and mid-size enterprises.