Cloud Networking: The Nexus Disrupting the Cloud

By CIOReview | Wednesday, August 10, 2016
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The inception of cloud computing and the expansion of its services has taken the IT industry to a whole new echelon. The term cloud computing can mean anything from infrastructure as a service to software as a service, and it includes dozens of other “as-a-service” models in between. Moreover, cloud computing enables enterprises to reduce IT costs and simplifies the IT buying process. It also provides IT managers with immense flexibility. As cloud has become an integral part of the IT infrastructure, there is an increasing focus on the cloud-based network that connects the various components like on-premises cloud, private data centers, public cloud, co-location facilities, managed hosting of enterprises’ IT deployment model.

However, once the cloud is deployed, the question of finding a right networking strategy comes next, as various IT professionals are in a chasm to understand whether they have the right network strategy to support this radical shift in IT service delivery. A survey carried out by Cisco revealed that the adoption of cloud-based applications will continue to increase as enterprise companies achieve the benefits of cost savings, flexibility, and reduced operational demands. It also conveyed that cloud services place new demands and requirements on the enterprise network. The sort of applications and the way they are delivered and consumed have been changed by cloud computing and will continue to change drastically.

Strategies for Seamless Cloud Networking

Extending Globally

Expansion of businesses in contemporary times is inevitable, the decentralized approach of reaching out around the globe is considered a main business objective. Challenges arise in the shape of providing remote employees, partners, and even customers with anytime, anywhere access to their corporate IT resources. Furthermore, global requirements cannot be met through single data center and in many cases, regulatory and compliance requirements address the need of investing in local data centers. So to address this challenge, a hybrid IT strategy can come in handy to quickly and cost-effectively expand the local IT infrastructure to support the global workforce requirements.

Syncing with Cloud Growth

With enterprises gradually making cloud a fundamental part of their enterprise infrastructure, it is highly significant that they lay more stress on the networks that connect the various components like on-prem cloud, private data centers, public cloud, co-location facilities, and managed hosting of their diverse IT deployment model. The cloud survey of Frost & Sullivan revealed that, 50 percent of the respondents use cloud services. The global Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) market generated USD $7 billion in revenues in 2013, which speaks to the acceptance of the hosted, on-demand model for creating and delivering IT resources. They also predict that IaaS revenues will surpass traditional data center services revenues in 2015.

Secure through Network

The biggest hurdle in embracing cloud computing technology is the security of the critical data. So, cloud providers are addressing defense and dependability concerns by enriching their services with fundamental and optional security elements, and taking greater responsibility for data protection through contracts and service level agreements. Cloud providers are also gradually collaborating with network service providers to guarantee end-to-end security and application performance. Understandably, a well integrated cloud network can enable organizations to minimize the jeopardy of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), data breach, data loss, and various prevailing cyber threats by reaping the benefits of security features already embedded in their Wide Area Networks (WAN). So, organizations can either choose a strong network partner for seamless cloud capabilities or combine with a cloud provider who already deals with network service providers.

IT as a Service Model

According to Gartner’s Network Research Vice President, Andrew Lerner, “Networks underpinning a cloud deployment need a higher degree of automation, programmability, and multi-tenancy versus traditional non-cloud buildouts.” Many enterprises orchestrate instances of private cloud and third party public clouds on a unified platform, which can be termed as a Hybrid Cloud thereby facilitating IT-as-a-Service model. As challenges like “budget constraints” and “ high maintenance costs” arise, it forces businesses to shift to a more cost-effective and nimble “IT-as-a-Service” model, which delivers an enterprise’s compute, storage, networking, security and availability. In addition, this model can run on nearly any infrastructure or service environment of the enterprise’s choosing.

Envisaging the Future

As Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com rightly says, “If someone asks me what cloud computing is, I try not to get bogged down with definitions. I tell them that, simply put, cloud computing is a better way to run your business.” As the aroma of cloud computing is proliferating with time, CIOs and CEOs need a seamless cloud network strategy to support the sweeping shift in IT service delivery. As contemporary enterprises are getting more serious about private (and hybrid) clouds, this puts more stress on building a swift network. As cloud based networks only need internet connectivity to work, CIOs can drive their enterprises forward by reaping the benefits of a seamless cloud networking strategy.