The cloud can scale. What about the network?
Cloud computing has transformed the speed at which businesses grow and expand – but can the network keep up? Network virtualization can give network infrastructure the flexibility and scalability that the cloud did for storage and compute resources, removing one of the most common limiters of digital transformation for enterprise. To fully realise its potential, however, businesses need network virtualization platforms which are as global in nature as the networks they span – and fully integrated with one another for rapid growth on demand.
Most businesses, as they grow, collect a ‘keychain’ of IT assets: applications, hardware, and even cloud platforms that address specific business needs, or solve broader organisational challenges. While this works for a time, it will gradually become unsustainable. As the keychain grows, so does the cost, complexity and time required to manage these digital assets.
The introduction of network virtualization has allowed IT administrators to elevate network management above the hardware level. Just as it did for the cloud, virtualization on a network level makes for far more scalable and efficient management of IT infrastructure – and, in turn, much greater responsiveness to customer needs, whether through rolling out new applications or meeting peak demand. The network, however, covers far more ground than the cloud, connecting different applications, users, and even clouds in extremely complex and ever-changing patterns. For network virtualization to reach its literal full-scale potential, businesses need software that
Network virtualization goes global
The Virtual Cloud Network that VMware recently launched seeks to provide hyper-flexible network virtualization at a global scale – one that accommodates the complexity inherent in scaling up network infrastructure. With the Virtual Cloud Network, businesses can connect and manage numerous applications, data sources (including clouds), and local networks under the one software layer of the NSX platform. The NSX Data Centre – a vital software component within the platform itself – supports software-defined data centres that connect and automate applications or data in various environments including public, private, and hybrid clouds.
This level of connectivity has enabled corporate partners like Telstra to offer greater flexibility and agility to their enterprise customers, embedding our NSX Data Centre services in their telecommunication cloud solutions on a global scale. For Telstra’s customers, that means being able to enter new markets and obtain access to all their core data, systems, clouds, and services at far greater speed than ever before – without the need to invest in on-site infrastructure or local data centres.
Greater visibility and security
Any platform that promises global management of applications and data points, however, requires an unprecedented level of control over security and visibility – and in this the Virtual Cloud Network is up for the challenge. As part of the Virtual Cloud Network’s rollout, NSX has been enhanced to provide even greater visibility, analytics and control of the cloud throughout the network – allowing IT leaders to track the resources, health and security of all applications and data points in real-time.
It’s not uncommon for fast-growth businesses to engage multiple cloud networks, or have applications sitting on virtual machines in different data centres. This potentially creates conflicts due to the inconsistencies of operational protocols, policies and priorities across the different clouds – which will result in potential security gaps in a business’ network. By bringing all their applications onto the Virtual Cloud Network, IT leaders can push down consistent security policies or make on-the-fly changes to security programming – and see it immediately and seamlessly reflected across the global network.
Successful digital transformation often hinges on the speed of scaling: how quickly a business can expand into new opportunities, meeting customer demands every step of the way. The network plays the crucial role in delivering services to customers.
The faster and more cleanly IT leaders can manage network resources, even at rapidly growing scale, the simpler digital transformation becomes. And as the digital workflows and operations of businesses continue to become decentralized, it’s easy to see how network virtualization, and frameworks for its global deployment, like the Virtual Cloud Network, will become the norm in the years to come.