The way we work and use technology has changed dramatically in recent years, and this has led to a need for updated network architecture models. With the rise of remote work, multi-cloud adoption, and more intelligent networks, traditional network architecture models are no longer sufficient to support the demands of modern organizations.
Enterprises today by design, have a distributed presence. This may consist of physical sites as well as virtual offices or branches, which can impact the design and architecture of a network. For example, enterprise branches are no longer clustered in a defined enterprise space and are represented by homes, co-working spaces or even remote locations. At the same time, the cloud has played a pivotal role in the shift to a remote and distributed workforce. Cloud-based workloads and the rapid adoption of SaaS has enabled enterprises to experiment and quickly transition into new ways of working. This has a huge impact on the network, as workers, irrespective of the place they are in, need to be able to access the same resources and applications as if they were in the office, and this requires a more flexible and decentralized network architecture.
This new network architecture should be based on a software-defined and virtualized infrastructure, with a focus on flexibility, scalability, and security. It should also be designed to support the use of multiple cloud providers, and to enable the virtualization of network functions, such as firewalls and load balancers.
Taking advantage of emerging technologies
There are several key technologies that will play a key role in shaping the future of networking, and it is imperative that organizations take advantage of these technologies to create a new network architecture. For example, Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a key technology for the future of networking, as it allows for the creation of virtual networks that can be managed and controlled centrally. SDN enables enterprises to create a network that is fully manageable and under control. If more bandwidth is required for specific applications or situations, it can be allocated quickly.
Another factor that has led to the need for updated network architecture models is multi-cloud adoption. More and more organizations are using multiple cloud providers to host their applications and data, and this has made it more difficult to manage and secure the network. Traditional network architecture models are not designed to handle multi-cloud environments, and this can lead to security vulnerabilities and increased costs.To address this issue, organizations can use a hybrid cloud network architecture. Hybrid cloud network architecture allows for the use of multiple cloud providers, while still maintaining a centralized management and security system. This enables organizations to take advantage of the benefits of multi-cloud environments, while still maintaining control over their network.
NFV is another key technology, as it allows for the virtualization of network functions, such as firewalls and load balancers. This enables organizations to take advantage of the benefits of intelligent networks, while still maintaining control over their network. Additionally, NFV enables organizations to reduce costs, improve scalability, and increase network agility.
Similarly, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), are key technologies for the future of networking, as they enable organizations to create more intelligent and adaptive networks. With AI and ML, networks can be programmed to learn, adapt, and respond to changing conditions, which can improve network performance and security. Additionally, AI and ML can be used to automate network management and security, which can reduce costs and increase efficiency. This enables organizations to create more adaptive and responsive networks. With AI, networks can be programmed to learn, adapt, and respond to changing conditions, which can improve network performance and security.
Additionally, the network must have integrated security and must consider and include technologies and services such as proactive detection and response solutions, zero-trust networking, and identity-based security and authentication. New security approaches such as SASE (Secure Access Service Edge), will enable organizations to secure a distributed network base.
In conclusion, the need for a new network architecture is becoming increasingly apparent, as organizations adapt to new ways of working and adopt new technologies. To meet these challenges, a new network architecture is needed that is based on a software-defined and virtualized infrastructure, with a focus on flexibility, scalability, and security.
This article has been written by Arun Pathak, Vice President- Managed Network and Collaboration Services, NTT Ltd. in India