How do you connect a growing app portfolio across an expanding number of environments—all while keeping apps and data safe? Apps and data today are no longer restricted to a single on-premises environment. They are moving to multiple clouds and the edge.
The apps themselves are no longer monolithic. They are distributed, built using microservices and data from a variety of sources. And they reside across a heterogeneous infrastructure.
In the past, apps were tied to the networks on which they ran. That meant you needed discrete networking models for the data centre, the cloud and the edge—and distinct teams, tools and processes to manage each of those networks. But that approach today would quickly create a bottleneck that slows innovation.
You need a more flexible network—one that supports your entire increasingly diverse app portfolio and the expanding array of environments where you build and run those apps. The network needs to be as agile as the business, with the capability to adapt as apps and business requirements change. It must also enable reliable, high-performance remote access so employees can continue to be productive from anywhere. And it must allow you to distribute network capacity and scale security to meet sudden surges in demand.
Only software lets you achieve this level of flexibility. Software-defined networking (SDN) uses virtualisation to abstract network capabilities from hardware. With SDN, you can establish consistent connectivity, policy management and automation wherever your apps and data reside.
Beyond simplifying management, SDN supports new levels of interoperability. You can integrate virtual machines, bare metal servers, containers, on-premises environments, IoT edge devices and cloud-based services—all through this virtualised network.
At VMware, we call this approach the Virtual Cloud Network. Powered by the VMware NSX family of networking technologies, the Virtual Cloud Network delivers consistent, end-to-end networking that is fully defined and managed in software. The Virtual Cloud Network is programmable, automated and intrinsically more secure than hardware-defined networks. It not only supports today’s environments, but emerging technologies such as 5G and IoT.
SDN solutions can help you extend your network all the way to the edge. With software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) technology, for example, you can deliver reliable, more secure, high-performance access to cloud applications and other enterprise resources. Automated, zero-touch deployment lets you quickly connect branch offices, remote employees and other edge locations.
Implementing SDN also gives you a high level of control over your network functions. You gain consolidated monitoring and visibility across multiple WAN links and service providers—all while maximising performance and minimising downtime.
With an SDN, you have the flexibility to support a diverse and evolving app portfolio—plus a growing remote workforce. You can deliver any app running on any cloud, more consistently and more securely. ▪