When enterprises started moving workloads and applications to the public cloud, it made sense to adapt existing networking technologies to the new domain. But while compute and storage have successfully become \u2018cloud-like,\u2019 networking hasn't.\nCloud networking solutions being offered by companies including Aviatrix, Cisco, and Juniper Network are all vying to help organizations solve networking challenges when transforming their infrastructure to public cloud. But as cloud implementations become more complex, it\u2019s becoming clear that cloud connectivity solutions based on virtualized datacenter networking technologies lack the agility and elasticity required to\u00a0\u00a0 build and scale in the public cloud.\nTo connect workloads from on-premises datacenter servers to VMs in the public cloud\u2014creating hybrid cloud environments\u2014networking vendors introduced virtualized routers to provide connections between datacenter and public cloud resources. This was understandable, as enterprises were already familiar with this routing technology running in their datacenters. Now, however, the hybrid cloud is evolving to the multicloud. At this point, it\u2019s not enough to simply default to the idea of re-creating the \u201990s datacenter network in the public cloud.\n"Multicloud" is a term with various definitions, but let\u2019s settle on defining it as the use of multiple public cloud infrastructures. An enterprise might start with a couple of applications running on Amazon Web Services (AWS), perhaps evolve to a global transit architecture for hybrid connectivity, then start to add workloads to Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform.\nAnd make no mistake, multicloud approaches are coming. Multicloud lets enterprises increase availability of their cloud operations. If one public cloud vendor suffers a localized failure, the enterprise could switch workloads to a different vendor\u2019s infrastructure.\nMulticloud strategies also enable enterprises to match particular workloads, applications, and geographic locations to specific public cloud vendors\u2019 strengths; reduce costs by taking advantage of special deals and competitive pricing among public cloud vendors; and avoid vendor lock-in.\nSo, what does the evolutionary path from the datacenter to the hybrid cloud to multicloud mean for networking?\nConnectivity will be a paramount consideration in enterprises\u2019 ongoing journey from on-premises datacenter to hybrid cloud to multicloud operations\nEstablishing one-to-one connections gets old\u2014not to mention unworkable\u2014when you need to route traffic rapidly and securely among disparate cloud resources. The connectivity challenges are difficult in hybrid cloud environments, and they become daunting when you add disparate public cloud infrastructures to the mix.\nEach public cloud vendor has its own ways of working, and they\u2019re not enthusiastic about making it easy to connect with their competitors\u2019 cloud infrastructures\nThis leaves enterprises to undertake the tedious and time-consuming process of establishing connections manually. If you want to build 100 or 10,000 connections from AWS to Azure or GCP, there\u2019s no way to do that manually and be operating at anything close to cloud speeds. Multicloud deployments will be best served by abstracting the networking to deliver the same experience across all public cloud platforms.\nThere will be growing demand for automated, software-defined, in-the-cloud multicloud connectivity\nThe more complex an enterprise\u2019s cloud presence, the more it becomes obvious that trying to adapt hardware-based or virtualized networking technologies to the software-defined cloud simply won\u2019t work. By the time an enterprise has a multicloud environment in place, it\u2019s time for a purpose-built cloud networking solution able to abstract the complexities of networking and routing for all the major public cloud infrastructures\u2014and automate it so that cloud and DevOps teams can provision, monitor, and troubleshoot multicloud connections themselves. Delivering in-the-cloud multicloud connectivity requires cloud networking that is software-defined, not just virtualized.\nWhat does real multicloud networking look like?\nOne thing it doesn\u2019t look like is your traditional datacenter, stacked with racks of networking equipment or virtualized systems. Purpose-built cloud networking is all software, so it\u2019s essentially invisible.\nBut the invisibility can be very powerful. Here\u2019s some of what a multicloud networking solution should deliver:\n\nFull integration with all the popular public clouds, including AWS, Azure, and GCP.\nCreation of a comprehensive cloud network with a single platform for all cloud resources. Enterprises don\u2019t have to figure out how any particular public cloud works, because cloud and multicloud management is just a single activity. The details are abstracted, and the real work happens \u201cunder the hood.\u201d\nAutomation of all the complex CLIs, BGPs, and routing tables of traditional IT networking, making it easy to connect to, within, and among any public clouds, or to and from private clouds.\nEasy, centralized cloud networking management that lets enterprises see, control, and troubleshoot all their cloud-based resources in all their clouds.\nEnd-to-end encryption for every connection\u2014even across regions and enterprise sites, and within and between any public clouds. Plus, capabilities to segment resources so connectivity occurs by design or only when specified by cloud teams.\n\nTo provide all these capabilities that automate and simplify complex underlying processes, multicloud networking must treat networking as code\u2014as Aviatrix, for one, does in its purpose-built cloud networking solutions. That way, cloud teams can stop taking up IT networking staff\u2019s time with cloud connectivity requests, freeing the networking folks to focus on the on-premises networks that need their expert touch.\nAt a time when industry news focuses increasingly on hybrid cloud and DevOps ways of working using automation, it\u2019s easy for networking professionals to become concerned about being made irrelevant. But here\u2019s the good news: Multicloud puts more emphasis than ever on connectivity itself. In this way, multicloud makes networking itself\u2014and easier ways to manage networks\u2014more relevant. It\u2019s not just for CCIEs anymore, but also networking for the rest of us.