For many network admins, connectivity is their primary concern. However, network as a service (NaaS) can be much more and open the way to a fundamental transformation.
Network transformation is hot and offers a variety of opportunities. Due to the corona pandemic, numerous companies were forced to take hasty actions last year and had to convert their IT infrastructure overnight. The result was hybrid structures in which the network was often neglected, especially regarding security and compliance. However, there is no way around a complete digital transformation to a modern network with a flexible and, at the same time, secure and reliable architecture. This is the only way to create a future-proof IT basis for business-critical processes.
For the report ” Network Transformation in Germany 2021 “, the analysts from IDC surveyed IT specialists from 158 companies in Germany. The result: Reliable network availability, data protection, optimization of cloud connections, and the management of complex structures are among the most significant challenges in current network operations. However, almost 50 per cent of the companies surveyed see their network purely as a cost centre. They reduce it to its connectivity. They should also recognize a modern IT architecture as an opportunity for optimized business processes.
Challenges of Static Networks
IT infrastructures are increasingly taking on the role of transformative business enablers. But static network architectures can no longer cope with the constantly growing cloud demands, both in data volume and the number of cloud service providers used. Structures that are often still based on Internet connectivity no longer meet modern security requirements. In contrast to conventional architectures, data can be transmitted more securely and more efficiently via software-defined, private networks and services.
“The corporate network is becoming increasingly virtualized and automated,” explains Martin Bichler, Head of Channel, Europe, at Megaport. “We assume that this trend will continue so that almost all network functions of an IT department can be executed via software-defined systems.” Therefore, a neutral platform is required in the connected data centres and the accessible cloud service provider, essential for contemporary network architecture. This ensures that the entire IT ecosystem can benefit from the scalability and responsiveness of the network.
Modern network structure through agile IT architectures
A particular challenge in today’s infrastructures is the management of hybrid clouds. They connect private and public clouds and thus enable IT workloads to be moved flexibly between the systems depending on the current requirements. In addition, public cloud applications are increasingly being networked to exchange data and services, thereby forming multi-cloud or cloud-to-cloud environments. However, since it is difficult for companies to maintain direct, physical connections between different cloud data centres, connectivity services are increasingly being offered for this as well.
An example of this is concepts with Network-as-a-Service (NaaS), as offered by Megaport. With such services, the connections can be changed and thus flexibly change the cloud or add a new one. Direct data transfer between clouds can also be made quickly and easily without an intermediary data centre. This means that companies are up to the current requirements and can quickly establish direct network access. Megaport Virtual Edge (MVE) also hosts NFV (Network Function Virtualization) and SD-WAN capabilities on its software-defined network. This way, branch offices and the edge can also be networked with the cloud.