The year 2020 has firmly established one thing about how people work—remote work is here to stay, and companies will need to enable remote employees as a norm and not an exception. The year has had a profound impact, starting with business continuity plans in the early days of the global pandemic but evolving to fundamental rethinking at many enterprises of the way business is conducted. Social distancing guidelines have created a decentralized, remote work force and judging by data from a recent Gallup poll 50% of employees will prefer to work remotely even when conditions return to normalcy. All of this means that the workforce won’t be concentrated within 20 miles of the office or the data center anymore. The physical data center and underlying networking infrastructure were built to be close to the “consumer” and the people administering it.
This static data center with all its physical and proprietary infrastructure for load balancers, firewalls, WAN accelerators, switches and routers, etc. is entirely unsuitable to modern applications and DevOps practices designed for clouds and containerized environments. To conduct business as usual and maintain employee productivity, the work from anywhere world needs to assure a great user experience and quality of service for secure access to distributed corporate applications. The legacy ticket-driven approach with customized hardware components for networking will not work for this new world.
In this light, the Virtual Cloud Network (VCN)—built on best in class VMware technologies, including VMware NSX, VMware SD-WAN™ by VeloCloud® and VMware vRealize Network Insight—is the software-first approach for organizations to deliver the dynamic requirements for the work from anywhere era. VCN provides a seamless, secure, software-defined networking layer across the entire data center infrastructure—from physical and virtual servers, to public and private cloud and to the edge—to all run on a single, common network, with a consistent set of services and operational model.
VCN is a network abstraction that creates operational consistency, regardless of the underlying hardware or services. VCN connects everything from the employee to the branch to the cloud to the data center. It provides pervasive connectivity for users to apps and for businesses to data, with intrinsic security, regardless of location. The Virtual Cloud Network lets administrators determine a desired outcome of a network implementation, then automates provisioning, configuration, and demand-based availability of services globally distributed across various data centers and clouds. It manages the full lifecycle of application services and automates failure recovery. These configurations and policies are automatically implemented, delivered, and enforced with the help of machine learning, without the need to know where the underlying infrastructure components reside.
The fundamentals of Virtual Cloud Networking are:
• Full support for multicloud – deployments across data centers and public cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, or Google Cloud Platform. (how about VMware Cloud?)
• Self-healing with automated failure recovery of networking components for application availability and consistent end-user experience.
• Optimized network with assured application performance across on-premises and cloud (private, public, hybrid or multi-cloud), including SaaS applications.
• Secure access to all the employees working remotely to get access to the corporate applications on-premises and/ or from the cloud. Protects users and distributed workloads at all levels with zero trust network access for work from anywhere.
• Automated load distribution – on-demand autoscaling of load balancers (scale up or down) using analytics driven automation based on real-time traffic.
• Full application lifecycle management through automated application delivery with REST APIs to support faster application rollout in Blue/Green and Canary deployments.
• Native integration with the underlying ecosystem enabling automatic configuration of firewall policies, SSO, IP addressing, and DNS.
• Automated support to manage and operate security intelligence and case management for globally infrastructure.
• Granular insights into performance, security, and end user experience. Provides end-to-end network visibility in order to get telemetry across the LAN and WAN networks for configuration, monitoring, and management of all connectivity.
VCN gives the network closed-loop intelligence, automation, intrinsic security, consistent connectivity, agility, and simplicity across diverse infrastructure (private/public cloud, VMs, bare metal, containers). It ties together an end-to-end architecture to deliver applications and services everywhere to increase business agility, reduce TCO, and empower organizations to deliver applications and services with confidence.
For more information on VCN, visit our Virtual Cloud Network page. For more information on VMware SD-WAN, visit www.velocloud.com.