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Cloud Networking

by Andrew Lerner  |  August 18, 2015  |  Submit a Comment

It’s no secret that traditional network infrastructures are less agile than other data center infrastructure, particularly compute. We’ve lived with this for awhile, but as mainstream enterprise are getting more serous about private (and hybrid) clouds, this puts more stress on the network. Cloud deployments create specific additional requirements, above and beyond traditional data center networks. Simultaneously, there have been a number of broad/general sweeping over-statements like   to do cloud right, you need SDN and/or SDN fixes everythingbut in reality there’s a lot more to it.


Networks underpinning a cloud deployment need a higher degree of automation, programmability and multi-tenancy versus traditional non-cloud buildouts. Further, there are multiple paths to achieving automation, programmability and multi-tenancy (again, its not SDN or bust).  Ethernet fabrics and programmable network devices (Puppet/Chef, anyone?) can solve many cloud networking challenges.  Along these lines, Dennis Smith and myself just published research that describes how to build the best network for your cloud deployment.

Target Networking for Successful Cloud Deployments, 

Summary: To gain transformational benefit from a private and/or hybrid cloud deployment, I&O leaders should look beyond provisioning compute and storage to address the networking domain; those that don’t will sacrifice business agility.

In the research, we describe how these components (programmable networking elements, fabrics and SDN) fit in, where each one makes the most sense (note: they can be used in combination with one another). Further it’s not just about the technology either, this will require staffing/people changes.

Regards, Andrew

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Category: culture  devops  just-published  networking  sdn  

Tags: chef  cloud  fabrics  puppet  sdn  staffing-2  

Andrew Lerner
Research Vice President
6+ years at Gartner
21 years IT Industry

Andrew Lerner is a Vice President in Gartner Research. He covers enterprise networking, including data center, campus and WAN with a focus on emerging technologies (SDN, SD-WAN, and Intent-based networking). Read Full Bio

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