Taking Network Strategy to the Edge

How Should IT Leaders Prepare for the Next Wave in Edge Computing?

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Market Framework
  3. Maturity of Categories
  4. The Edge Networking Solution
  5. Considerations for Delivering Edge Networking
  6. Vendor Review
  7. Near-Term Outlook
  8. Key Takeaways

1. Summary

As IT organizations try to keep up with the ever-changing business landscape, optimizing business outcomes is at the forefront of many considerations in the CIO office. These outcomes are increasingly dependent on the user experience at the edge. Intelligent devices are increasing exponentially, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is adding more and more instruments to the internet every day. These devices are consuming and sending data to the cloud, or edge-to-cloud workloads, as well as traditional data center backhaul. Now that the benefits of cloud computing are becoming available near the network boundaries, many technology improvements are needed in the overall user experience: response times, security, and cheap and reliable connectivity. As enterprises launch new business initiatives to further their digital transformation, new system architectures and partners are needed to deliver on the promise of new revenue as a result of rich user experiences.

Given the buildup regarding edge computing, what should organizations do about their current and future network strategy? How can network teams create or tune their plan to effectively meet these emerging challenges with appropriate efforts in connectivity, network performance, agility, and cost? By adopting a modern cloud NetOps framework, enterprises can eliminate data and networking silos, build for state streaming, incorporate APIs, and leverage advanced data analytics, all while automating network management. Thankfully, technologies and vendors are providing new ways to keep pace with these changes.

In this report, we find:

  • Effective network strategy must flow from the overall business goals, and be flexible enough to change as they move.
  • Enterprises should understand their national and global footprints from a physical and routing perspective while anticipating ongoing change.
  • Networking teams should fully leverage Software-Defined Networking (SDN) as well as implement and plan for Intent-Based Networking (IBN) and Software-Defined Perimeter (SDP).
  • Zero Trust network design adds resilience to large and agile networks for less cost. However, legacy networks and data centers still require a strong network perimeter with all the legacy security controls. Consider modernizing these older environments prior to adopting SDN.
  • Effective monitoring is essential for situational awareness and decision making. Time-based, operational databases are a powerful solution.
  • These key technologies (SDN, IBN, and SDP) are important enablers of mobile and IoT applications.

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