Communications service providers (CSPs) can deliver highly reliable, low-latency, secure networks between highly distributed user populations and applications running at remote cloud data centers. Because of this, they offer tremendous advantages for enterprises looking to adopt public and private cloud computing.
Mission-critical enterprise applications being deployed on virtual machines are moving to the cloud, driving the need for carrier-class network security, performance, and reliability. Leading information technology trends such as Software as a Service (SaaS), bring-your-own-device (BYOD), mobility, and globalization increase the importance of network assets. However, the advantages of public and private data centers are diminished if performance is slow, unreliable, and unpredictable. Erratic performance and high latency will impact user adoption, satisfaction, and productivity.
- End users are increasingly mobile and need to access corporate applications 24/7/365 from multiple devices as well as multiple locations.
- Applications require the network to handle real-time exchanges of information (e.g., video and collaboration tools).
- Applications and data are stored on a combination of public cloud assets and remote (internal) data centers. IT will be asked to manage these application, computing, and storage resources seamlessly and securely.
These IT trends will increasingly expose the wide area network (WAN) as the limiting factor in cloud adoption, and it is indeed a much bigger challenge to solve than the related computing or storage resources. Also, the intelligent network can help solve the vexing security challenges with regard to remote data access via public or private cloud applications. Therefore, IT managers should consider CSP cloud offerings as part of any enterprise-class cloud architecture that combines the performance, reliability, and security advantages of cloud providers with their own networks.