Compute Transitions Drive the Need for the New IP Network


The enterprise network has undergone two major transitions since the introduction of computing as a pervasive business resource. First, the client/server era introduced networking and created the need for basic local-area network (LAN) connectivity. During this era, LANs lived in isolation, and there were several competing connectivity methods including SNA, AppleTalk and LANtastic.

Second, the next wave of computing introduced branch office connectivity and gave rise to the corporate wide-area network (WAN). Branch office computing created the requirement to connect the LAN “islands” to one another. The era of branch computing brought about routed IP networks to interconnect locations.

Also, the network evolved to have limited application intelligence for prioritization purposes.

Now, cloud computing is driving yet another shift in the network as the cloud creates new demands that legacy networks simply cannot meet. The cloud computing era is here, and the network must be able to deliver cloud principles everywhere. The network needs to become open and agile, and it must shift to a new economic model to be in better alignment with the cloud (Exhibit 1).