Common Desired Benefits
This section covers some of the most common benefits that organizations are looking for from their campus network. Designing and deploying the next-generation campus network is about taking advantage of some very useful benefits and the impact that they have on the network environment and overall user experience. Each of the benefits discussed is listed here:
Prioritize and secure traffic with granular control
Reduce costs and lower operational complexity
Simplify troubleshooting with root cause analysis
Provide a consistent high-quality user experience
Implement end-to-end security and segmentation
Deploy devices faster
Networks of today cannot scale at the speed necessary to address the changing needs that organizations require. Hardware-centric networks are traditionally more expensive and have fixed capacity. They are also more difficult to support due to the box-by-box configuration approach, siloed management tools, and lack of automated provisioning. Conflicting policies between domains and different configurations between services make today’s networks inflexible, static, expensive, and cumbersome to maintain. This leads to the network being more prone to misconfigurations and security vulnerabilities. It is important to shift from connectivity-centric architecture to application- or service-centric infrastructure that focuses on user experience and simplicity.
The solution required to support today’s cloud-enabled enterprise needs to be complete and comprehensive. It should be based on the software-defined approach mentioned earlier by leveraging the controller concept. The solution must also include a robust set of capabilities that reduces cost and complexity and promotes business continuity and rapid innovation. These capabilities should include the separation of the management plane, control plane, and data plane, which provides more horizontal scaling capabilities and the security of knowing where the data is at all times.
The solution should provide various consumption models, such as some components being hosted in the cloud and some components being managed on premises, with complete redundancy between the two. The solution must also provide a complete set of network visibility and troubleshooting tools that are accessible from a single place. Having this type of solution would assist in providing the following business outcomes and use cases:
Faster device deployment with no operational interaction
Complete end-to-end network segmentation for enhanced security and privacy
Increased LAN performance
Seamless host mobility
Better user experience
All of the things mentioned thus far are critical in terms of what organizations are demanding to drive their network to becoming an asset that truly sets the organizations apart from their industry peers. Many organizations rely on the network to function at its best to provide value and competitive differentiation so their organizations can excel. This is what is driving this industry to these types of technologies. This reliance is also why the industry has increased the speed of adoption and deployment of these solutions.