The shifting enterprise edge. Part 2

Part 2 - The Intelligent Network Transition to the Cloud.

As enterprises increase their use of the cloud, they need to carefully think about 3 network services to make an intelligent transition to the cloud.

Easy scaling, flexibility and lower operating costs make the cloud an obvious choice for enterprises. The promise of technical flexibility, scaling and potentially cost saving is simple. However, the journey, for most, has been a long and complicated one, with security strategies, skillset, operational boundaries and application re-architecting.

The migration to the cloud is not just about the applications but the network which powers them. We’ve talked about the gap between the network and the applications and the importance in delivering a quality user experience.  Going to the cloud widens this gap and makes it more difficult to bridge. The user experience is effectively at risk!

The majority of enterprises are backhauling all traffic to on-premise locations. This includes SaaS traffic, like Salesforce or Box. Here they apply all network services to the traffic. This solves two issues – first, manage security concerns and second, intelligence into the user experience. As these network services move to the cloud, will enterprises use ‘ready-made’ bundles from CSPs or choose to consume a ‘best of breed’ network services? Will they purchase these services from their cloud, communication or interconnect provider?

Enterprises avoiding any lock-in in their cloud journey will unleash the full potential of the cloud.  This means support for any ‘access type’, any ‘interconnect provider’, any ‘cloud platform’ and any ‘network service vendor’ ensures that the user experience is intact. In simple words – the enterprise maintains control. Even though the cost and complexity of this approach may be slightly higher, organizations will adopt this approach to support multi-cloud environments and replace point solutions more easily as their needs evolve.

We all agree about the need to be vendor agnostic but what are the three building blocks or the network services at the edge? First is “Connectivity” enabling routing and optimization services. Second is “Security” needed for a secure perimeter. Third is “Performance Intelligence” for the user experience. These three building blocks form the foundation of the intelligent edge.

Before embarking on another multi-year network edge lifecycle project, dealing with the same security, connectivity and performance challenges that we’re all used to, stop and think about cloud. Is your edge intelligent and are you preparing for the future?

What is the journey of an enterprise moving to the cloud and how to stay on top of the user experience gap across applications and the network? A topic for Part 3

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