The cloud has one major weakness that even the most seasoned C-level executives often miss: network performance. Until recently, the majority of corporate IT systems were on-premise —usually in the form of large, expensive data centers full of servers, storage devices, and network equipment. Redundancy was built into the architecture to meet the dynamic needs of the business. CIOs over-provisioned IT and invested heavily in capital equipment. Many assets sat idle, wasting space, electricity, and support resources.
As companies move IT infrastructure to the cloud, a new axiom is emerging: “Your cloud is only as good as your network.” The cloud makes it simple to turn up an instance of software as a service (SaaS) like Salesforce.com and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solutions such as Amazon Web Service. But cloud users are finding it difficult to maintain consistently high performance across locations. The challenges they face include:
- The ability to maintain a high performance network across the globe
- Real-time analytics to understand critical performance issues
- Network scalability and agility to respond to changing business needs
- Proactive and expert support options
Enterprises lose the economic benefits of the cloud if the underlying network lacks the flexibility to meet application performance demands. Just as CIOs turned to cloud providers to manage server, storage and application resources, many are now taking advantage of managed cloud network services.
A managed cloud network can deliver high bandwidth and consistent application performance for even the most demanding environments. This “customize by design” option provides businesses with a platform to ensure a consistent user experience throughout the organization. With cloud network services, network configurations and bandwidth adjustments don’t require customer service calls, red-tape and additional charges. A managed cloud network enables customers to make on-demand or pre-scheduled service modifications anywhere and from any device.
The cloud-centric enterprise needs intelligent analytics to ensure consistent network performance across all remote locations and the ability to modify bandwidth for predictable and unanticipated application needs. Only in this environment will IT executives be able to deliver an agile and scalable application delivery experience to their business counterparts.