By Michael Fratto
Enterprises gain flexibility and scalability using hybrid and multicloud networks, but managing these diverse networks poses a challenge.
A key result of enterprise digital transformation has been the increased use of public and private clouds, as well as the preference for SaaS applications over applications developed in-house. In many cases, those custom applications resided entirely within a single environment throughout their lifecycle. Applications tended to stay in place and were always accessible, and they had few, if any, dependencies outside the immediate environment. Networking in those environments was simple.
Why enterprises prefer cloud-native applications now
- Ease of use: Enterprises need simple, self-service applications that are scalable and easy to use/manage.
- Rapid deployment: When speed is the need, ready-to-use, plug-and-play applications score high.
- Dynamic environment: A dynamic environment supports quick and frequent changes in business requirements without service disruption.: A dynamic environment supports quick and frequent changes in business requirements without service disruption.
However, the increased use of cloud-native applications is imposing many more demands on the network, forcing enterprises to reassess their architectures and operations.
Cloud-native architectures such as containerization and serverless computing, along with execution venues existing in on-premises datacenters and in hybrid clouds, have effectively led to the breakdown of monolithic applications into components that can be scaled independently and can be distributed across two or more cloud instances, services and locations.
Following the componentization of applications, cloud-native applications make more use of network-embedded features for essential services like load balancing, reliability, security and monitoring, which allows network connectivity and functions to be tightly coupled to the application components.
Enterprises shifting toward a cloud-native application architecture have increased expectations for secure networking and self-service with the ability to deploy and make changes rapidly. No one wants to wait days, weeks or months for a new environment to be spun up or to make a change.