Across industries, organisations are developing innovative modern apps to transform customer experiences. At the same time, they are deploying apps to empower a remote workforce and boost employee productivity.
Unfortunately, many of these apps are running on older networking technology. Outdated networks can severely restrict the value that modern apps can deliver. For example, if your network prevents your new e-commerce app from drawing data from multiple systems, it won’t be able to provide up-to-date inventory information from across multiple stores and warehouses. Or if your network can’t deliver sufficient bandwidth to the edge, your branch offices and remote workers won’t be able to access new cloud-based enterprise apps without productivity-killing lag.
Using legacy network technology can also make it more difficult to keep apps and data secure. As businesses and individuals increasingly rely on cloud-based apps to work, buy goods, travel and more, those apps and the data they access will continue to be prime targets for hackers. Yet a bolted-on approach to security, in which you add a variety of new solutions on top of legacy networking technologies, can leave security gaps while also increasing administrative complexity.
So, how do you modernise your network? How do you support the latest apps and innovative technologies while also enhancing security?
For many organisations, the right approach will involve software-defined networking. By defining the network in software instead of hardware, you gain the ultimate flexibility to connect apps and data across all of your environments—including private, public, edge and telco clouds. A software-defined network also lets you take advantage of built-in security capabilities and analytics across your multi-cloud world.
A software-defined approach to networking can frame your overall strategy for building a modern network. But what types of capabilities do you need to meet the specific requirements of your rapidly evolving apps?
Cloud-scale networking. Your network should enable you to connect apps and data, wherever they reside. The network should integrate your data centre with public clouds and let you extend to edge environments, where you can support branches, remote employees and 5G-ready telco clouds. And importantly, the network should be cloud agnostic, giving you the freedom to choose the services and solutions that are right for each app.
Your network should support not only bare-metal architectures but also new, modern microservices. The drive to accelerate development and delivery of modern apps is pushing many organisations to adopt containerisation and Kubernetes technologies. To fully capitalise on those new technologies, you need networking and security services designed for supporting containerised, microservices-based apps.
As you embrace a multi-cloud strategy, establishing consistent networking with pervasive connectivity and security across clouds is paramount. With a consistent approach, you can maximise the agility to shift workloads among clouds while better protecting apps and data.
Using a single software-based platform for networking helps you establish consistent networking while avoiding skills gaps that can arise when you try to assemble multiple new technologies. A software-based platform also enables you to move away from slow, ticket-driven processes to more agile processes that make the most of workload mobility and policy automation capabilities.
Intrinsic security. Your network should also help you secure your organisation, detecting and responding to threats across endpoints and multi-cloud environments. Instead of selecting bolted-on, threat-centric, siloed solutions, you need intrinsic security: security that is built in, context aware and unified.
The right intrinsic security solutions are designed to secure east-west network traffic through deep visibility into workload behaviour. They also enable micro-segmentation that allows you to define and enforce network security policies for each app, workload and service—or even every session for virtual desktop infrastructure environments.
Intrinsic security not only bolsters protection, it also helps reduce costs and complexity. You can minimise the number of products, agents and interfaces required for managing security.
End-to-end analytics. To enhance performance, strengthen security, simplify compliance and streamline operations, you need an intelligent network. It should provide deep visibility and offer built-in analytics capabilities to help you fine-tune networking and security functions while minimising complexity. A network with a distributed analytics engine can generate new security recommendations, help demonstrate policy compliance and make it easier to troubleshoot incidents.
The VMware Virtual Cloud Network enables you to implement software-defined networking that can help you maximise the value of your innovative modern apps. You gain cloud-scale networking with intrinsic security and analytics in an all-in-one cloud model that spans your entire environment.
Developing and delivering innovative modern apps will continue to be critical for driving your organisation forward. With software-defined networking from VMware, you can build a network for better supporting your current apps while helping you prepare for a continuously evolving future. ▪