Cloud Networking – Once More Into The Breach
Anyone who has been in networking for several years has seen an exorbitant amount of change. Initially, businesses had physical (racks and chassis) network and switching equipment that resided on their physical premises. This was their corporate network consisting of routers, switches, servers, etc. The simple network concept expanded to include wide area networking, international and distributed offices, and then extensive security measures including IPS, IDS, DLP, WAF, etc.
The concept took a quantum leap as we went through a “virtualization” mania a few years ago. Everything needed to be moved to virtualized servers located in the virtual data center. Now we are on the precipice of another quantum leap, the use of cloud networking, where a significant majority of capabilities are being moved to either public or private cloud networks.
Whether you are a proponent of this move to the cloud or not, there are some things to consider if, and when, you decide to take the plunge. While there has been a lot of hype around the benefits of cloud computing, very little is being said about the inherent drawbacks.
One of the current challenges for IT teams is the lack of visibility that comes with the shift to the cloud. For instance, once you give up control of the network infrastructure, you lose the ability to capture important packet data from tap and span ports. This data is necessary for troubleshooting and performance monitoring analysis. Monitoring and forensic tools still need to perform deep packet inspection as part of the application performance monitoring (APM) analysis and troubleshooting activities. Log data and log files are simply not good enough.