As businesses increasingly move processes the cloud, they see a critical need for solutions that can help them bridge the gap between their existing environment and their vision of a network that is simple to management. This is especially important now since, according to recent research, CEOs say they want CIOs to be thinking about business goals first before choosing technology for their organizations.
It’s not enough for CIOs to select equipment and services based on technological need anymore. Now, they must truly put the needs of the business first. The move to the cloud and virtualization are examples of this new, business-centric focus. As recently as several years ago, enterprises had started virtualizing their existing data centers, but now they’re moving to the cloud—both private and public. As a result, CIOs and IT leaders must rethink their whole infrastructure to make sure it is as agile and cost-effective as the cloud services they’re using. And they must do so in a way that doesn’t sacrifice security to support the enterprise campus networks as an on-ramp to cloud-based applications.
Why this need? Think about a company that relies on a cloud-based productivity suite that changes bandwidth and security needs. When someone sends an email to the person sitting in the cube next to them, that email has to go out to the core switch, out of the firewall, out through the router port and onto the public internet where it eventually makes its way to the cloud infrastructure hosting the email application. It then comes back down the same way to the recipient.
The enterprise network must be robust enough to support this type of traffic flow, while ensuring it has the correct security parameters in place to support the best user experience and performance. And yet in today’s enterprise campuses, the majority of networks are manual systems comprising layers of switches, VLANs and security products, each adding operational complexity. In addition, because these layers must be administered manually, they introduce the potential for human errors that can disrupt services and open security gaps. They simply can’t support what’s required. What’s needed: a next-generation infrastructure that builds on advances in virtualization and automation to deliver greater agility, cost savings and enhanced security.