Reimagining the network with cloud networking

Cloud brings substantial business benefits in terms of elasticity and scalability. But it is increasingly difficult for enterprises to have visibility into their connections worldwide, control costs and safeguard networking traffic, and secure employees wherever they are.

Moving from on-premises to the cloud brings networking challenges, including loss of control, a fragmented network landscape, and security weaknesses. Cloud networking addresses these and the increasing complexity of enterprise networking in hybrid and multicloud environments. This is done “by implementing cloud networking services that help simplify management of enterprise connections not only to the cloud but also within and between clouds,” explains Gartner.

Public cloud providers’ native networking capabilities are adequate for some business cases, but “forklifting traditional virtual routers” doesn’t fill the gap, maintains Gartner. Virtual appliances, for example, often fail to meet the needs of cloud and DevOps teams in terms of integration and flexibility. Cloud networking is designed to enhance operations in public cloud environments specifically.

As a result, enterprises are investing in multicloud networking, which they expect to improve cloud operations and security significantly. According to a recent survey, 87% of enterprises are expected to invest in multicloud networking in the next 1 – 5 years, with 41% saying they plan to invest substantially.

Regaining control of cloud performance, security and scalability

As enterprise workloads become more distributed and multicloud is adopted to take advantage of best-in-breed features, controlling and managing applications and data becomes more and more difficult. Cloud networking combines cloud and connectivity expertise to provide end-to-end simplification.

Cloud networking is software that enables a network’s creation, deployment and operations within multiple cloud environments: from on-premises data centers to remote cloud users and across multiple public clouds. This involves moving network management, control and data connectivity to an external cloud infrastructure.

The market is still small but growing. By year-end 2023, the number of enterprises using multicloud networking for multiple functions will increase by 30% to 3,000, according to Gartner. Despite being a multicloud networking solution, enterprises can employ it in a single cloud environment.

A composable, high-performing platform tailored to your business

Evolution Platform is the answer to the multicloud challenges that enterprises face today. It is a methodology designed to converge connectivity, security and operational expertise seamlessly, while remaining flexible enough to adapt to ever-changing business priorities.

Cloud service providers provide basic cloud networking capabilities – but there is no consistency across multicloud environments or the features to enhance enterprise networking and security requirements. According to Gartner, enterprises are looking to multicloud networking to address some of the network shortcomings in public cloud and infrastructure-as-a-service environments, including more advanced capabilities and dependable management at scale.

The beauty of Evolution Platform is that it really is fully optimized to handle cloud networking challenges. The Orange global supervision solution Service Manage-Watch monitors infrastructure performance. It differentiates itself from other offers on the market by delivering end-to-end, real-time visibility via a single dashboard. Metrics from monitoring tools are harvested into the Orange Data Lake and correlated for analysis using AI to generate proactive and predictive alerts. This ensures that connectivity and security at the edge, applications, equipment and user experience perform optimally to meet customers’ business needs.

The Orange cloud networking approach comes as a fully managed or co-managed service. As a telco-native company and systems integrator, Orange provides the interfaces and looks after all the services. Alongside this, Orange has partnerships with industry-leading cloud experts, including Microsoft, Google and Amazon, covering all service and support bases.

For example, a multinational fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company was looking to connect users, applications and data in a cloud-native and secure way. Cloud networking complexity and skills gaps were in danger of impacting business-critical applications. Working with Orange Business Services, the enterprise deployed the Aviatrix cloud network platform. The solution has enabled the multinational to deploy a high-availability multicloud network with end-to-end encryption while taking advantage of the best-in-breed capabilities of its cloud providers.

The Aviatrix cloud network platform delivers intelligent central control, increased operational visibility and automation. This has enabled the multinational to improve operational efficiencies and reallocate skilled network resources to focus on high-value tasks.

Repeatable infrastructure-as-code automation means that network security is evaluated and tested and included in its CI/CD pipeline, which automates software delivery processes. Utilizing this approach means that network reworks due to human error, data leaks and security breaches can be avoided.

Cloud networking is designed to deliver simplicity, scale and elasticity

“There is no business strategy without a cloud strategy,” according to Milind Govekar, Distinguished Vice President at Gartner. The analyst firm forecasts that more than 85% of organizations are looking to be cloud-first by 2025 but will be unable to make these digital strategies work without cloud-native architectures and technologies.

Cloud networking is designed to be cloud native and support the distributed nature of cloud-based applications and workloads. A well-designed multicloud network architecture will be essential to deliver cost savings and security while opening up new revenue opportunities. Adopting multicloud networking now is a no-brainer.

To find out more about Evolution Platform and how it can help unlock your enterprise’s full potential.

Umberto Mattei
Umberto Mattei

Product Manager, Orange Business Services
After some years spent architecting data center and public cloud services mainly on Cisco and Google technologies, I am currently focusing on designing products to simplify the end-to-end cloud networking user experience.