The Cornerstone: Network Infrastructure and Cloud Strategy

Both by accident and design, cloud computing is redefining enterprise IT strategy. The proliferation of cloud services has been so rapid and pervasive that the majority of organizations don’t even know how many are involved in their business. A recent survey demonstrated that most enterprises believe they are engaged with just three cloud services, but the average enterprise is already interacting with at least eight. For many organizations today, the imperative is to add the cloud service or application first. Often, the addition is driven by a line of business (LOB) working around IT.

For the enterprise, these multiple clouds can pose challenges to network security and performance standards. A central issue is how to manage and work across clouds as each has its own management APIs, distinct networking and security capabilities, and so on. Operating across multiple clouds can also expose the enterprise to new security threats. Many organizations are reluctant to migrate mission-critical applications from on-premise data centers to public cloud platforms because of concerns over data security, regulatory compliance, and application performance.  

The Achilles Heel

These challenges only add to the already difficult task of managing an increasingly complex and heterogeneous IT environment that may include an on-premises private cloud, private data centers, co-location facilities, and other hosted, managed services.

The one constant in this Jenga-like scenario is the network itself. The network connects each of the components to each other, to public clouds, and to other networks. And for enterprises worldwide, it is becoming obvious that their network is (or can be) the “Achilles heel” of their cloud strategy. That’s because, in this hybridized IT environment, the network infrastructure is critical to ensuring application performance and security while also distributing workloads between private and public clouds. And increasingly, the network includes significant infrastructure that the IT organization does not own or control because it is part of the public cloud.

Modern applications can be deployed in various places: on-premises, in the branch, and in various public clouds. “What you need is the ability to deliver all the networking and security services to all these different kinds of applications wherever they are,” says VMware VP and CTO, APJ, Bruce Davie. “Networking is fundamental to this transformation.”

In this complex, heterogeneous environment, what enterprises need to succeed is a cloud-ready approach to networking that is flexible yet powerful enough to deliver on all of these capabilities. And the only way to ensure these capabilities is to virtualize the network infrastructure.

Support at the Speed of Business

Network virtualization is fundamental to cloud strategy. It is the technology that enables work across clouds while ensuring performance, security, and control. A virtualized network infrastructure enables organizations to support initiatives at the speed of business, and to automate the deployment of new apps and services. This helps make IT far more responsive to the needs of the enterprise. And it’s particularly important when deploying new apps and services is further complicated by the diversity of new deployment models, such as containers, that may need to be “spun up on many different clouds and devices,” as Davie says, “in a much more dynamic and mobile environment.”

An Architecture to Work Across Clouds

VMware is committed to helping enterprises create the virtualized networking infrastructure they need to work effectively and securely across clouds. VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture allows enterprises to embrace and work across public clouds as if they were an extension of the company’s own private cloud. VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture uses VMware NSX® network virtualization technology to create a network overlay that stretches across public clouds, private clouds, data centers, mobile networks, and the enterprise’s own private or hybrid cloud.

VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture answers the critical need for a network infrastructure agile and powerful enough to support an organization’s cloud strategy. It provides the cornerstone businesses need to seamlessly build, manage, and secure applications across public and private clouds. With VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture, enterprises have the freedom and control to operate safely and successfully on the cloud of their choice.