The new reality of the cloud environment demands virtual networks that are easily configurable and optimizable and which can prioritize agility for a changing set of connectivity demands. The growing bandwidth needs of cloud solutions and performance requirements that vary among each type of application need a network approach that can change quickly and offers a high level of visibility to administrators.
From video and Internet of Things (IoT) to voice and commerce solutions, the shift to the cloud is changing the way enterprises handle networking. Virtual networks are replacing the on-premise, hub-and-spoke model of the past, which often required a lengthy procurement process and a complex physical device transition to handle any investments or upgrades.
Networks are increasingly being managed in the cloud in an as-a-service model, with network infrastructure hardware owned and maintained by a service provider. Long procurement cycles are eliminated and the general benefits of virtual technology are translated to the network sphere, including lower costs and fewer demands on IT, scalability, and flexibility.
Routers, virtual private networks (VPNs), firewalls, and security can all be launched as services, running on a general-purpose server on-site, in a remote data center, or through an edge device. In many cases, the enterprise will not need to replace their existing network hardware in order to launch a virtual network solution.
The software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) provides a way for network functions to be highly visible and controlled from a central console, offering zero-touch provisioning, automated traffic segmentation and prioritization, and improved security features.
Unlike networks of the past, virtual networks can be deployed in a matter of minutes. Businesses can quickly improve the network performance, adjust for bandwidth requirements and geographic expansion, and accommodate the implementation of new software applications.
Virtual networks will assist enterprises in addressing a variety of connectivity requirements:
- The network will adjust to changes in bandwidth demands, such as spikes during particular times of the day or a scheduled high-volume period, assigning additional routers to maintain performance.
- Launch new branches without requiring additional IT infrastructure. Branch locations can plug in a new device, and the virtual network will immediately recognize it and apply business policy and security parameters.
- Use encryption keys at the network edge in order to support latency requirements without the need for hardware security modules.
- Programmatic configuration
Virtual networks provide a variety of benefits, including the elimination of long procurement and installation timelines, as well as the ability to scale up and down in seconds according to business requirements.
To learn more about the potential for utilizing virtual networks in your IT environment, contact us at Compass Solutions.