December 17, 2019 By Rebecca Hardy 2 min read

Multicloud adoption has become a critical step in digital transformation. In a recent IDC survey, 90 percent of respondents said they planned to evolve their digital transformation strategies to encompass multicloud postures in 2019.*

And IT is certainly feeling the pressure: In the same survey, 47 percent of IT teams voiced the business demand for more IT agility and speed, while about 44 percent cited modernization and re-platforming, and 39 percent referenced the requirement for a data center upgrade, expansion or replacement.

As businesses hurtle toward the cloud, it’s critical to consider whether or not current enterprise networks will be able to handle the transformation.

Programmable networking for a multicloud world

Network modernization is absolutely essential to digital transformation. Your enterprise network is the IT backbone of your business. With increasing complexity, aging networks, the accelerating need for network agility and an evolving application landscape, IT leaders are turning to programmable, agile and software-driven enterprise networking solutions.

Software-defined networking (SDN) has emerged as an architectural approach to data center networking in the cloud era, bringing the flexibility and economy of software to data center hardware. SDN helps align enterprise network infrastructure with the needs of application workloads by providing:

  • Automated orchestration and agile provisioning
  • Programmatic network management
  • Application-oriented, network-wide visibility
  • Direct integration with cloud orchestration platforms

This transformation goes beyond the data center. Digital transformation and increasing hybrid IT and multicloud adoption are also redrawing the boundaries of remote and cloud locations, redefining what’s required of both data center local area networks and enterprise wide-area networks (WANs). Fortunately, that same SDN technology can be applied to connect enterprise networks, including branch offices and data centers, over large geographic distances. A software-defined approach to WAN (SD-WAN) makes it possible for IT to provide reliable access to business applications across the entire enterprise.

Orchestrate and automate

To maximize the value of a virtualized network, it’s critical to implement a strategy for orchestration and automation. These things work in tandem to help you reap the full benefits of network virtualization:

  • Enable self-service functions for development teams
  • Reduce risk through integrated governance and management
  • Prevent vendor lock-in on hardware-based platforms
  • Save time by orchestrating and automating integration complexities
  • Boost overall quality through intelligent and aware operations like self-healing

Complexity hinders agility, but an intelligent, self-driving network that harnesses the power of AI can help minimize complexity and further optimize performance, application availability and overall user experience, helping you drive even more value from network virtualization.

Network modernization may seem like an overwhelming challenge. It can be a struggle to get a clear picture of the evolving application environment, let alone how it maps to changing requirements for network infrastructure and network operations. If yours is like many organizations that don’t know where to begin, you may benefit from a consultative approach.

A network modernization partner can help you identify gaps that might hinder SDN deployment, determine automation needs, define an orchestration strategy and develop a roadmap. Because one thing’s for sure: Technology is always moving forward. Whatever comes next, network agility is prized as a strong foundation for any innovation.

*IDC, 2018 IDC CloudView Survey, 2018

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