Agile Cloud Operations Deserve a Network to Match


 To Make Technology a Business-Leading Department, Start by Evangelizing Everyone Else’s Numbers

Victoria Lonker

Maintaining a network that is elastic and flexible enough to handle the high traffic demands driven by cloud adoption is critical if businesses are to make the most out of their cloud investments. Vickie Lonker, executive director of Product Management with Verizon, explains how a robust Software Defined Networking (SDN) strategy can enable an organization’s critical infrastructure to support its operations with limited capital expenditures.
Businesses today have more devices connected to data centers, and each other, than ever before. And these devices are generating an unprecedented amount of data. This trend has largely been driven by cloud computing, which has allowed organizations to transform their digital operations. As cloud adoption continues to grow in scale and in importance, with many mission critical applications now hosted on cloud platforms, it is difficult to overstate the importance of the technology.
However, while cloud platforms and data centers have received a lot of attention and investment, the underlying network infrastructure that supports them has often been overlooked. A recent Verizon study found that at least 50% of cloud deployments suffered from business-impacting performance issues that required extensive network redesign to address them.
To support the dynamic agility that cloud enables, the network it depends on must be equally flexible. In order to stay ahead of changing market conditions and network demands, and also considering cyber threats that jeopardize brand reputation, businesses today must adopt networking innovations that create better ways to keep dispersed teams securely connected.
To that end, virtualized network services present customers with an as-a-service option that allows them to respond to new business demands automatically and do so without having to worry about capital investment in their infrastructure. Software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) architectures help automate and simplify networks to quickly respond to change. With SDN, the network is fast, smart, app-aware and cost-effective, and with NFV, critical network functions that reside on many different specialized hardware devices are converted into software, making it possible to quickly deploy more agile, virtual services. When these micro-services are chained together and orchestrated with closed-loop service assurance, enterprises get real solutions from which they can derive business value.
With a simplified network underpinned by an effective SDN strategy or NFV solution, businesses are able to facilitate faster processes and more efficient use of technology resources, connect to data, apps and cloud services securely, and control application performance. By harnessing the power of predictive analytics and baking security into the network, rather than having it function as an add-on, businesses can now work to keep their networks automated, secure and under control.
Furthermore, software-defined networking provides a network that is elastic and flexible enough to handle high traffic demands during the busiest times, prioritizing the most important applications and helping to prevent congestion through intelligent automation. Not only does virtualization allow enterprise customers more insight and control over their IT and networking infrastructure, it also provides increase scalability and faster provisioning of new services, which represents the future of the network.
Given the flexible nature of today’s networks, virtualized network services can perform as a living network, adjusting based on triggers, software policies and real-time customer changes. For instance, Verizon’s own approach to delivering tested, reliable solutions evolves and grows by using an iterative approach, allowing new functions to roll out to customers as needed, while delivering a full application experience. These services are available around the world via customer universal premises equipment (uCPE), Verizon’s private virtual cloud called Hosted Network Services and hybrid models for those who choose to use a combination of both.
In conclusion, by implementing an effective SDN strategy or NFV solution and utilizing virtualized network services that manage a myriad of functions at the network edge or in global networks, businesses will have the infrastructure needed to succeed amid expanding competition. Virtualized network services offer a growing ecosystem of certified functions with proven integration of service chains, positioning businesses to better respond to the network challenges of today and tomorrow while delivering excellent customer experiences and boosting productivity across the enterprise.

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