Virtual networks need a rethink to meet hybrid-, multi-cloud demands

Switch virtual-network providers if yours lacks a good plan to support ever more dynamic workloads.

networking background

Everyone in tech likely thinks they know what “cloud computing” and “networking” mean, but they’re probably wrong, and their misconceptions about the first topic color their view of the second. Yes, the cloud is dominating computing, but most stuff isn’t “moving to the cloud”. This subtle point is already changing how we think about networking.

I’ve worked with the cloud from the first, and while there was a bit of “move this to the cloud” going on for server consolidation reasons, the overwhelming majority of stuff enterprises run in the cloud today isn’t an entire application at all. It’s the presentation layer of legacy data-center apps.

Corporate transaction processing, data storage and retrieval, and analytics are all things that demand security and reliability. From the first, enterprise executives have been telling me that these activities aren’t going to move to the cloud because they believe that their requirements can’t be met, and the cost would be greater rather than lower. My work with them proves out that view. Despite all the hype about the economy of scale of the cloud providers, the fact is that most enterprises achieve economies close enough to those of the cloud that the difference wouldn’t cover cloud provider profit margins.

Cloud: the presentation front-end of the data center

OK, so why then do we see cloud usage by enterprises growing at 40% or so per year? Because the cloud is being used to do things that were never done in the data center at all, need to be done now, and would be more difficult and/or expensive in the data center than in the cloud. Those things all relate to the way that enterprise core applications interact with customers, partners, and even workers, and so they all involve the internet.

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