Question: If network limitations and security worries are a barrier to creating a virtual network in the cloud what’s the solution?
Answer: Ensure your network is designed for change and consider Software Defined Networking.
Being smart with cloud computing
The limits of many organisations’ network infrastructure and security worries over the huge amounts of email, transactional and other data being sent across the internet can make a business reluctant to adopt the cloud.
Yet traditional networks are coming under increasing performance and capacity pressures from the mounting use of mobile and video which will stretch their data centres to the limit.
It makes sense for organisations to offload work to the cloud when network capacity is exceeded but enterprises can worry about security because capabilities such as network isolation cannot be relied upon. Business are also having to adapt to a radical switch where rather than developing applications that meet the requirements of their network they must ensure their network meets the needs of the cloud applications they want to adopt.
Preparation is KEY when converting to cloud
Andrew Wertkin, a chief technology officer, says businesses must ensure the design and architecture of their computer networks take into account how quickly things can change.
“They must look at their IT architecture and include the network in all their cloud plans. This is the best way to support platform and service virtualisation and keep costs stable.”
“This is still early days for SDN among enterprises that need intelligent, app-driven networks to power the next generation of cloud and mobile working,” says Wertkin.
He adds: “We are seeing more companies preparing to have a virtual network, but this is something that needs to be done cautiously. Enterprises must research the different options and the cost benefits of not being tied to one vendor. You must ensure, for instance, that network services are mapped so they can be accessed from around the world.”
Innovation in this market is addressing these concerns with the steady introduction of open source Software Defined Networking (SDN) which separates the network’s controller from the forwarding functions. It means businesses can access the speed and scalability benefits of the cloud, take advantage of virtualised applications and not lose the analytics advantages of having a network.
“This is still early days for SDN among enterprises that need intelligent, app-driven networks to power the next generation of cloud and mobile working,” says Wertkin. “With SDN organisations can manage cloud networks, on-board devices and virtual machines and enjoy scalable and secure mobile access to cloud applications.”