By: Mohammed Al-Moneer, Regional Director, META at Infoblox
The cloud pushes the boundaries of the traditional office environment and enables the enterprise without boundaries. Professional talent, affiliates, facilities and partners can be located anywhere in the world – and they all need fast and secure access to critical apps and data to keep the organisation running smoothly. New technological developments around SaaS, IoT, SD-WAN and IPv6 are pushing smart organisations even faster to the cloud, to increase efficiency and better support users and locations, wherever they are.
The increasing use of public, private and hybrid cloud networks within enterprises is becoming increasingly challenging, and security is a concern. How can you reap the benefits of borderless enterprise while keeping your network stable without opening your doors wide to attackers?
Traditional networks fail in the cloud
Traditional network models cannot efficiently handle the complexity level of cloud networks. These models typically require network traffic from all locations to be routed through a centralised data centre to access the cloud, leading to bottlenecks. In a cloud-first world, the data centre is no longer the centre of gravity of your organisation. The most important nodes are located at the edges of the network. A network based on one central point cannot keep up with the demand for direct cloud access at the edges of the organisation.
A major problem is that many organisations still rely on separate servers that manage DNS and DHCP for each location separately. Why is that a problem? Because fast, reliable services are essential for modern cloud networks. And local management of DNS and DHCP servers leads to a host of problems in a “borderless” enterprise, including higher costs, higher latency, human error, and slower performance.
Move network management to the cloud
DDI services play a central role in every interaction within your network. They keep your company network running and are involved in all digital actions, services, applications and data regardless of location. The DNS protocol uses several methods to translate domain names into numerical IP addresses. The DHCP protocol dynamically assigns IP addresses to endpoints connected to the network so that network administrators do not have to manually configure these settings. And IPAM manages the assignment of IP addresses within the organisation.
For many organisations, cloud-based DDI management is a flexible and cost-effective alternative to (or complements) on-premises, server-based DNS and DHCP solutions. By using lighter virtual or physical devices in remote locations, essential services can be centrally managed in the cloud. You no longer have to configure devices locally or perform complex services on location. This leads to reduced hardware and operating costs.
A more reliable and secure network with cloud management
But how does network management in the cloud make your network more reliable? In traditional networks, many tools are used side by side, leading to delays, compatibility issues, and complexity. This makes management complicated and time-consuming. By moving DDI management to the cloud, you can centrally manage your enterprise with greater flexibility, reliability, and automation than traditional on-premises DDI solutions. In addition, cloud based DDI reduces latency by ensuring that traffic from all locations connects directly to the cloud through the closest point of presence. This makes cloud applications such as Microsoft Office 365 work faster. This means that all employees can access cloud apps and data as quickly as when they are in the office.
Full and central DDI visibility not only provides a more controlled and efficient management experience for your network team, but also increased security. The visibility of network traffic is an absolute precondition for security professionals to do their job well. You can’t protect what you can’t see. And when your network is fragmented, security holes are more likely to occur. The advantage of central, cloud based DDI is that you can monitor activity anywhere in the network and act quickly when suspicious actions occur.
The cloud as the centre of gravity of your organisation
Traditional networks are not equipped to meet the needs of organisations as they no longer house all their apps and services in one data centre. Organisations are accelerating their digital transformation to respond to changing consumer demands and the needs of remote workers. It is therefore more important than ever to ensure that employees can access the company network, data and applications from anywhere and on any device. With cloud based DDI management, organisations can provide secure and stable access to any remote business user and no longer have to rely on slow, fragmented systems.