The Three Most Surprising Changes in F500 Enterprise Infrastructure in the Past Year

by Guru Chahal

Avi Networks has been participating in ONUG since 2013. During that time, we’ve been privileged to have worked with many in the ONUG community to help us understand some of the top pain points facing enterprise networks – and in particular L4-7 network services such as load balancing and application security. Today, we are proud to call many in the ONUG community our customers and are thankful for them as they have helped shape our roadmap and help accelerate Avi’s adoption across global enterprises. Some of the top financial services institutions, service providers, and technology firms look to Avi’s technology to solve some of their most pressing traffic management needs – replacing legacy appliances with a modern, software-based elastic fabric.

While technology has always moved fast, we’ve been quite surprised (pleasantly) with the highly accelerated pace at which data center infrastructure in general, and networks in particular, have changed in the last year. Here are the top 3 trends we’ve seen in the ONUG community in the last year:

1)  AWS and public cloud is a big part of everyone’s future: It’s a bit clichéd to be talking about shadow IT and how enterprise developers are adopting AWS. In the last year, we’ve seen sanctioned IT projects moving forward with high speed as banks, SPs, technology firms and others have started adopting AWS. For us, the change has been most profound in the financial services sector, where, in the space of 18 months, conversations on AWS have gone from “not for us” to “we are adopting it – can you help us solve our security, availability and monitoring challenges in both public cloud and on-prem?”. Here, we are working with many of the ONUG community to provide enterprise-class traffic management capabilities using a global fabric deployed across public cloud and on-prem datacenters – single elastic fabric with central management across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

2)  Increased focus on PaaS (Platform as a Service) and CaaS (Containers as a Service): While the last couple of years have seen a lot of focus on understanding and deploying IaaS technologies, we saw a meteoric rise in interest in PaaS technologies (OpenShift, Cloud Foundry) as well as a CaaS (Docker, Mesos, Kubernetes and others) in F500 enterprises. We see this trend continuing to accelerate as enterprise developers start requesting a “give me a platform to run apps on” semantic, rather than a “give me a VM” semantic.

3) The Rise of “Shadow Networking”: This is a direct result of the above two trends. As workloads move to PaaS and CaaS platforms, the decisions for several networking functions are being made higher up in the stack and away from the network teams. It’s interesting to note that in several instances, Avi’s software for containers, OpenShift, or AWS (as an alternative to ELB), was not deployed by traditional load balancing teams, but by enterprise architecture teams that are making decisions at the PaaS layer. However, since the core design and operational expertise is with the network teams, we are beginning to see networking teams take an increasing interest in traffic management for east-west services within PaaS/CaaS platforms. Networking teams are also kicking off projects now, to understand how they can utilize modern technologies from Avi and others to adopt hybrid clouds without compromising on availability/security/telemetry or without taking on additional complexity.

Avi Networks is working with many of you on tackling traffic management challenges that PaaS, CaaS, and public cloud bring on. Please do engage with us while at ONUG and we’d be happy to share the problems we are solving and the benefits our customers have seen in their environments using Avi’s software.

About the author:

Guru ChahalGuru Chahal

VP, Product

Avi Networks

On board with the founding team since the inception of Avi Networks, Guru helped define the product, drove initial customer development, product messaging, and technical partnerships. Prior to joining Avi Networks as the Vice President of Product, Guru was an investor at Lightspeed Venture Partners, where he focused on networking, security, cloud, data analytics, and infrastructure management. Before his work with LSVP, Guru was the Director of Product Management at Cisco Systems for the Unified Computing System product line – a multi-billion dollar business for Cisco. Guru joined the UCS team before it shipped, helped define the product strategy and roadmaps, and was ultimately instrumental in ramping UCS traction. Before his time at Cisco, Guru held operational roles at Nuova Systems (acquired by Cisco Systems), and Tropos Networks (acquired by ABB). An alumnus of Harvard Business School and Purdue University, Guru holds several patents in networking.

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