Enterprises are rapidly moving away from legacy networking technologies like LAN, WAN, and basic TCP/IP-based network architecture. Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and related technologies like SD-WAN, SASE, etc., are bringing capability to control the network securely by programming the routing packets as per requirement without changing the network hardware. Such new networking technologies give huge power to network administrators. Enterprises using these technologies are realizing business benefits along with capital expenditure (CapEx) savings to connect global business networks.
But leaders still need to understand the exact outcome to shift away from legacy networks that potentially yield central management of networks while saving money. Enterprise CIOs are looking for the advantages that innovations in the network will deliver. They seek to become future-ready to handle vast amounts of digital data.
Let us discuss some of the key factors which are driving network modernization.
In this modern era, end-devices or users ask for agile services delivery and rapid transaction of data from the server. To address this, enterprise networks need simplification in terms of routing data to exact users with the right policies applied to it and make sure the different set of end-users get data or network services they want in a short period of time. With technologies like SDN and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), it is now possible to control the network infrastructure by replacing most of the network components and achieving a high level of zero-touch automation and provisioning. Using such technologies, enterprises can also reduce the CapEx and reduce the power consumption required in the network. With new software-based and software-driven technologies in hand, it is also replacing legacy networks that can route traffic based on congestion patterns at some part of the network. You get end-to-end visibility in your network that can help you in managing the network bandwidth and identify the network glitches that also can be fixed remotely.
Most enterprises are adopting cloud as a part of digital initiatives. Legacy networks are not enough to match the agility required by cloud services. The services are configured either within the internal private cloud or subscribed from public cloud. A new model of hybrid, as well as multi-cloud, is also making into enterprise infrastructure to take advantage of benefits offered from different clouds and optimize the cost of business services. It is high time where enterprise CIO will want the network to fit into the cloud equation so that it is possible for cloud applications to run on the network and delivered to end-users with optimal performance. There are various new solutions that have emerged that also give network visibility when enterprises implement hybrid and multi-cloud so that they can manage cloud applications that reside in different clouds with ease.
Lowering the cost
Legacy network was architected using proprietary hardware equipment to perform designated network functions that required manual configuration to get functional. Also, manual efforts were required in case of network glitches and upgrade of hardware to better performance. Modern networks are software-based such as virtual network functions (VNFs), and programmed to operate automatically using open-source technologies (OpenDaylight, ONOS, Tungsten Fabric, OPNFV, and more). Now, it is possible to diagnose and upgrade a network with a single pane of glass as most part of the network is software-driven and software components that are interconnected using APIs.
Support for high streaming data
Typically, a normal user uses the VPNs to access the different channels. For example, to access Roku, they set up a VPN list so that they can easily connect privately to access the video streaming. Due to pandemic, remote working has become a norm, and we have seen an increase in video streaming in the form of live webinars, video calls, and video demos. Traditionally, Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) is used for the speedy delivery of video streams over the network. But modern networks require protocols to support low latency streaming. In this case, HTTP-based protocols are being used, for example, Apple HLS (HTTP Live Streaming), Low-Latency HLS, Low-Latency CMAF for DASH (Common Media Application Format for DASH), MPEG-DASH (Moving Picture Expert Group Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP). VPNs are commonly used by enterprises to connect to internal networks, and it is recommended to use secure communication. But modern networks are developed to get over VPNs with the proper use of technologies like SD-WAN. It is important to ensure the support for secure video streaming using such new technologies.