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05 April 2017
| Jason Mcgee-Abe
Networks of the future must be built on the assumption that applications will eventually move to the cloud, said Chalan Aras, VP and general manager of Citrix’s Netscaler SD-WAN service.
Day Two of the WAN Summit in New
York City opened with yet another keynote on digitisation and
how its impact is pushing enterprises to relook their
"The networks of today are consumed not just by apps, but
IoT through customer interactions and M2M," said Chalan Aras,
VP and general manager of Citrix’s Netscaler
SD-WAN service. That hunger for data, combined with the demand
for digital products, is changing how people work.
As businesses become more agile, employees are using
multiple network-connected devices more frequently. "What is
increasing now are employees’ use of devices
outside of buildings," said Aras, citing truck drivers that
track product delivery as an example.
Aras estimated that about 60% of the company’s
apps are already in the cloud. He sees enterprises across all
industries moving more applications and data to the cloud.
"It’s not a one-time change but a one app at a
time change," he said.
Aras noted three guiding principles to bear in mind for the
design of future networks. Firstly, design for the cloud and
software-as-a-service (SaaS). "Assume that apps are going to
move to the cloud. Assume that they are going to be hybrid and
build the networks in a way that will adapt to applications.
You must adapt apps to this new world that we’re
in," said Aras.
Secondly, design for change and agility. "Software-defined
is prevalent. The old way of setting up routers is simply not
the way to do things anymore. Assume networks will need more
bandwidth and move towards intent-based networking through
analytics," he added. "The network has to understand what the
user intent is. How do you discern certain activities such as
file-sharing without being restrictive and stopping your
employees from doing their jobs?"
Thirdly, networks must be designed with security in mind.
"You can’t ignore it. Security must be integrated
with networking. The network and security have to work closely
together," said Aras.
He challenged network architects to focus not just on the
WAN, but to also look at the perimeters surrounding that.
"Consider a set of services that will unify branch, mobile,
IoT, SaaS, the cloud and even the good old data centre. It has
to be a view that unifies all and provides a robust network,"
Reporting from Agnes Stubbs