As companies are becoming more adept at using technology to disrupt longstanding franchises, it’s not an understatement to say that agilityis almost the only thing that matters in today’s enterprise IT landscape. Whether IT is a weapon to attack or a measure to defend, it simply has to be more nimble.
The number one impediment to speed? Complexity. And it’s not just that more sophisticated applications require more sophisticated solutions. It’s that the primary way enterprises have traditionally battled complexity will go away with the move to cloud and multicloud.
This means simplicity is not a nice-to-have. It’s critical. And if enterprises don’t plan appropriately, the complexity problem will pose a full-on crisis. Indeed, some companies will not survive the cloud era, primarily because they fail to plan for a complexity event horizon that is rapidly approaching in IT.
Enterprise network or networks?
The way to make an inherently complex thing approachable is to engineer your way to success. And what does every good engineer do? Break things down into smaller parts.
As an example, many enterprises have been breaking their enterprise networking problem down into a data center networking problem, a campus networking problem, a branch and WAN networking problem and so on. But you don’t need to look at the networks to see this division. Just look at the teams. Each domain ends up being managed by a different team with a different budget and a different set of priorities.
You don’t have to be a technologist to recognize that anytime you create a boundary in the network that must be crossed—crossed by your security constructs, management systems and operations teams—you introduce complexity. As more and more of your applications and users need to communicate with each other, IT is left figuring out how to cross more and more of the boundaries that were intentionally set up to combat complexity. The result is manual processes, broken lines of sight in troubleshooting and holes poked into security systems to let wanted traffic through, which invariably creates higher risk of letting unwanted traffic through. In a word -- complexity.
A unified infrastructure
The whole promise of cloud is: Where a user is, or where a workload is, shouldn’t matter.
Ideally, the network is just a collection of resources and, based on what an application or service demands, the right set of resources should be activated.
This is why cloud will necessarily become multicloud. For this type of resource utilization to be true, we can’t evolve from a bunch of on-premises silos to a bunch of silos spread across various public clouds. If the challenge is operational agility, what good does it do to maintain the same siloed operational model just running in the cloud?
There is a difference between having multiple clouds and running a multicloud architecture. The former is basically a lift and shift of what exists from on-premises to the cloud, which hardly promises transformational change. The latter is a change in operational models that fundamentally moves IT from one cost curve to another.
A simple path to secure and automated multicloud
Part of the reason that enterprise IT has evolved in the way that it has is because of technology gaps that prevented network teams from operating any other way. A tool did not exist that let teams control, secure and manage the network end-to-end to enable workloads to launch anywhere, anytime. Using emerging technology like software-defined and overlays, Juniper Networks has commercialized a multicloud orchestration platform in Contrail Enterprise Multicloudthat we are confident provides the missing link between enterprises and unified operations.
But the migration to multicloud will not be made with technology alone. New operating models require the thoughtful evolution of architecture, tooling, process and people. Juniper has helped some of the largest infrastructure providers on the planet transform the way they plan, build and operate. And we have taken those best practices for transitions and developed a multicloud migration modelthat allows enterprises to confidently navigate the path from legacy to multicloud.
The future of enterprise is multicloud. And with tools to run any workload on any cloud and manage multivendor resources as a single, cohesive infrastructure, we believe Juniper is uniquely positioned to make that future a reality for enterprises of all sizes.