Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cloud computing with an intelligent network

The ZK Research paper prepared for Cisco, Why Cloud Computing Needs a Cloud-Intelligent Network, makes some clear points on why the network is as critical (if not more) than any piece of a successful cloud strategy. We couldn't agree more.

For Cisco, that means you need to buy their Cloud-Intelligent Network (CIN) gear, and for Uplogix, it means you'll still have critical network infrastructure that will benefit from automated network management from a local perspective.

Described as an underlying network platform that integrates computing with networking to deliver a world of connected clouds, two key components of the CIN will benefit from local management. The paper describes:
  • Network platforms: This includes access routing, edge routing, and core routing, delivered via physical or virtual appliance where it makes sense. These are the primary infrastructure building blocks of the CIN.
  • Branch WAN services: These are technologies that can optimize application performance and user experience. Branch routers provide a highly secure, reliable platform that scales to small business and branch offices. WAN optimization can accelerate and optimize bandwidth for improved user experience. WAN services are delivered via aggregation routers for multiple network and security services from the WAN edge, as well as network positioning systems to provide application layer recommendations to optimize traffic. This can
    fulfill the vision of the lean branch, with emphasis on survivability services.
This really isn't any new ground for local management. These are the kinds of devices that are currently benefiting from 24x7 intensive monitoring, management and recovery by Uplogix Local Managers.

A couple of recommendations from the paper include:
  • Invest in your network now: Any organization even thinking about cloud should invest in the network today to ensure the foundation is there to transition to the cloud when the company is ready. It’s critical that companies choose infrastructure that can enable the proper level of network intelligence to enable a quality cloud experience, rather than using network infrastructure that is simply “good enough.” When it comes to cloud, a good enough network is no longer good enough. 
  • Leverage the network for cloud success: Legacy thinking considers the network merely plumbing. Cloud computing success is highly dependent on the network. Business and IT leaders must position the network as a strategic asset that will determine the ultimate success or failure of cloud services. A network-first strategy will create the most secure and lowest-risk deployment model for a future cloud strategy.
For more on how Local Management is a critical piece of a successful Cloud strategy, download the Uplogix white paper, Meeting the Network Requirements of Cloud and Virtual Computing with Local Management.