Most of the traffic in enterprise networks may originate on the network, but terminate in the public domain (internet). In aggregate this traffic represents a large amount of data which cannot be freely allowed to reach its final destination without further inspection.
Ensuring the security of the network and data while enabling that traffic to reach its final destination is also an important task that adds to the complexity of managing a multicloud environment, as these flows could be coming from a variety of locations; from branches, public clouds, SaaS and Private clouds.
Software-defined networking (SDN)
With SDN, that complex multicloud environment becomes one seamless virtual secure network of users and applications, allowing the company IT admin to have full control, visibility and security without having to worry about public cloud specifics, private cloud workloads or remote site details and simply focus on the service for their end-consumer.
The shift from using proprietary hardware solutions in the data centre or branch sites not only reduces costs, but it also accelerates innovation by introducing new network and security capabilities in a software update.
Company IT admins can build a multicloud, virtual and programmable network, connected to any public cloud (AWS, GCE, Azure), that spans a private cloud with any type of hypervisor or cloud management system, while securely connecting to all their remote sites around the globe.
By using “intent-based-networking” IT admins can request that a particular application should be delivered between specific end-points and users. The SDN network takes care of programming all required elements to make that end-to-end connection a reality.
If things change and the user moves, or the application is redeployed elsewhere, the network automatically adapts to preserve that end-to-end connectivity. Furthermore, IT admins have full visibility into all users and application flows across the network and by using analytics, dynamic network action can be programmed to react to known threats in real-time without delay.
Combining that high-degree of automation, artificial intelligence and the ability to micro-segment the network to provide that isolation between users and applications, the multicloud network becomes simpler and more secure.
Choosing the right SDN solution
Organisational IT needs can be summarised into three key requirements. First, the need to operate in a multicloud environment that includes private cloud, multiple public clouds, SaaS and branch locations. Second, is the need to deliver IT services such as security services, Wi-Fi access, VoIP, WAN optimisation anywhere and anytime. Finally, to ensure that all this is done with complete end-to-end security.
When deciding on an SDN solution, one must confirm it addresses each requirement without replacing old complexity with a new type of complexity. Many solutions on the market solve problems in isolation: they either solve the public cloud automation problem, the private cloud automation and security problem, or the WAN automation problem.