Communications hubs emerge as a bridge to hybrid IT

Adoption of hybrid IT for delivery of applications across legacy enterprise data centers, and increasingly cloud SaaS and IaaS platforms, is rendering traditional network architectures obsolete. Numerous analysts and articles have predicted the coming obsolescence of hub and spoke MPLS networks anchored on legacy enterprise data centers. While few have detailed what to do about it, a growing number of enterprises are taking matters into their own hands. Those in the know are leveraging communication hubs, sometimes also referred to as cloud hubs, to bridge the gap between their legacy data center environments and the cloud.

The growing challenge of SaaS application performance

As enterprises accelerate their move to cloud, including the growing trend toward cloud office suites, such as Office 365 and Google Suite, where users expect LAN-like performance, challenges are mounting. According to Microsoft, Office 365 is growing at 43 percent, and as of the end of 2017 was boasting 120 million active users. A 2017 survey by TechValidate noted that despite increasing both firewall and network bandwidth capacity, nearly 70 percent of companies experienced weekly network-related performance issues after deploying Office 365. Gartner’s 2018 Strategic Roadmap for Networking, released earlier this year, noted that nearly all enterprises will need to look beyond MPLS and at re-architecting the WAN to optimize for cloud.

For applications migrating to IaaS platforms, many enterprises have found some relief in the direct connection products available from the major cloud providers, such as AWS’ Direct Connect and Microsoft’s Express Route. Directly connecting to multiple IaaS providers in multiple regions, however, can become a very expensive proposition, and one that quickly grows in complexity. Let’s also not forget about all of the SaaS applications that don’t have direct connection solutions available, yet still have business and/or mission critical profiles, apps like Salesforce, Workday, ServiceNow, Dropbox and dozens more.

When it comes to cloud, it seems the internet is becoming the new WAN. This is leading enterprise IT teams to look at how to better leverage the internet directly for cloud application performance.

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