What to know about your cloud and network transformation

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Organizations of every size are beginning their cloud and network transformations. Some are starting small in their cloud and network migration, while others are taking significant steps forward.

There’s one thing each of these journeys have in common: A goal to deliver a strategic impact for the business.

This goal is only possible if your network can keep up with your cloud transformation.

Even if your current network has performed well to date, it was designed for the demands of traditional infrastructure—where your apps, desktops and data are all stored in one place.

Changing where apps, desktops, and data are stored and where and how they’re accessed will fundamentally reshape the volume and paths of traffic through your WAN.

That would pose a problem for most legacy networks, but by making WAN transformation part of your cloud project, you can deliver reliable performance and effective security at a reasonable cost wherever people work.

The below points discuss the history and importance of cloud-based and network solutions to help to meet your ongoing network requirements at every step of your cloud transformation.

What to know about your cloud and network transformation

A brief history of the cloud

Cloud based services and the unified communications as a service (UCaaS) have been offered since the early 90’s. However, these cloud offerings didn’t manage to gain market share in the enterprise space until recently.

A report by Continuant speculates a number of reasons which led to low UCaaS adoption including:

  • Technologies were too expensive to replace
  • Companies were hesitant to try a new product until it was mature and proven
  • Network engineers had difficulty embracing sudden changes

As IP matured in the early 2000’s, the industry started to implement IP-based hosted offerings while most of its users occupied the SMB space. The offers were mainly available to small businesses that were geographically local to the host.

The cloud and the unified communications as a service industry dramatically changed as the early 2000s unfolded, but was still nowhere near as advanced as today’s cloud services.

Major advances in the cloud and hosted solutions has made deployment of the cloud more viable for enterprises. The pace , breadth and volume of adoption is now well under way.

How traditional networks were built

Traditional networking was architected via a combination of networks, intended to handle expansion and some scalability, however not to accommodate the needs to today’s demands.

As the demand for devices climbed due to innovation and advancements, traditional network solutions and providers weren’t reliable enough and equipped to handle today’s:

  • Dynamic internet-based environment
  • Bandwidth intensive business application needs

For instance, according to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2016-2021,:

  • “Annual global IP traffic will reach 3.3 ZB (ZB; 1000 Exabytes [EB] or 278 EB per month by 2021”

Inevitably, the need for more responsive, flexible, and reliable network solutions that can be scaled based on end users’ needs will only continue to grow.

In order to accommodate this transition for better business development, old networks will be replaced with mobile and burstable pay-per-use models

Network services have ultimately become as consumable and necessary as cloud compute and storage services.

This year more than ever, we’ve already seen the deterrence from the traditional network model.

Networking has been completely revolutionized, similar to the proliferation of cloud computing in the mid 2000’s.

Why companies are migrating to the cloud

The cloud is beyond its days of being something new to fear. Increasingly, companies are abandoning on premise and privately managed data centers in favor of cloud-based solutions.

This is mainly due to the wide range of problems that cloud computing  can solve such as:

  • Flexibility
  • Mobility
  • Improved IT security
  • Time-saving
  • On demand services
  • Lower costs
  • Improved collaboration
  • Easier updates and Integration
  • Business continuity
  • Competitive edge

For example, a survey conducted by TechRepublic revealed some of the main reasons why business leaders are taking the leap to the cloud such as:

  • 33% = customer focus through business agility
  • 22% = experience significant cost savings
  • 20% = innovation and development of new apps, products and services.

At this point the big players like Amazon, Citrix, Microsoft and Cisco are not only on board with the cloud, they are innovating and leading the effort. The survey continues to predict that by the end of 2018:

  • 90 percent of businesses will have migrated some aspect of their workload to the cloud.

There are various reasons why organizations have chosen to migrate to the cloud over the past 10 years. In today’s world of technology, it has come to the point that a cloud migration is a necessity for a company to keep its competitive edge.

How to assure your network’s endurance with your cloud transformation

Migrating to the cloud changes everything. After a migration, you then need flexibility, reliable performance, security, and cost efficiency. In addition, traditional networks lack the cutting-edge switching and routing technologies necessary to deliver full automation to the cloud.

In a nutshell, with a traditional network the ability to run your applications smoothly, improve productivity, and have business agility become a dream. The old “way of doings things” with a network, and leaving an aging or inadequate network infrastructure in place,  simply won’t meet the needs of any business that is using cloud based systems or has multiple locations or branches.

This is where SD-WAN comes in as the solution to give your network the endurance to keep up with today’s technology advancements. SD-WAN manages and delivers the appropriate networking requirements for today’s bandwidth intensive applications.

To support your network’s transition to the cloud, check out our new eBook: The essential guide to preparing your network for the cloud.

In this informative, free resource, you can learn how new technologies like SD-WAN can help meet your ongoing network requirements at every step of your cloud transformation, including:

  • Supporting SaaS apps and Internet use
  • Migrating apps to the cloud
  • Creating a hybrid, multi-cloud environment
  • Making the Internet available to customers

Whether your company’s already utilizing a cloud solution or not, it is important to be aware and understand what is happening, and how your company can be prepared. Simply stated, things are changing quickly, and every firm needs to plan for the changes.

Conclusion

The fact is, preparing your network for the cloud NOW will pay off in the long term.

It’s important to remember that companies must eventually upgrade their WAN architectures in support of public cloud services which will continue to grow over time.

No matter where you are in your cloud transformation, taking advantage of new technologies like SD-WAN can deliver the flexibility you need to ensure reliable performance, maintain security, and control costs at every stage of your cloud journey.

If you’re interested in learning more about how SD-WAN can help you prepare your environment for the cloud, make sure to check out our eBook: Essential guide to preparing your network for the cloud

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