The Role of Cloud Computing in Networking

Cloud computing is the provision of servers, storage, software, and analytics over the internet. Cloud networking is the shift of network capabilities and resources onto cloud services, either public or private, managed by the organization or a service provider. Cloud networking can offer more advanced features and network functions in the cloud. Cloud computing and networking can be studied as a discipline or a degree program to develop skills and expertise in virtualization, cloud infrastructure, app development, and security.

In this article, we will review the benefits and challenges of cloud networking, as well as some of the best practices and solutions available in the market.

Benefits of Cloud Networking

Cloud networking offers connectivity to and between applications and workloads across clouds, cloud services, on-premises data centers, and edge networks. It’s vital to the performance, security, and efficient management of hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments. Some of the benefits of cloud networking include:

  • Simplification for lifecycle management: Cloud networking allows IT teams to automate the provisioning, configuration, monitoring, and troubleshooting of network resources across different environments. This reduces manual tasks and human errors, and enables faster deployment and scaling of applications.
  • User-experience assurance: Cloud networking enables IT teams to optimize access to applications and data for users across different locations and devices. This improves the reliability, availability, and performance of the network, and ensures a consistent user experience.
  • Reduced time to market for service rollout: Cloud networking allows IT teams to leverage network architectures and resources that are already available in the cloud, rather than building them from scratch. This reduces the cost and complexity of network design and implementation, and enables faster delivery of new services and features.
  • Lower operational costs: Cloud networking reduces the need for capital expenditure on network hardware and software, as well as the operational costs of maintaining and upgrading them. Cloud networking also enables IT teams to pay only for the network resources they use, rather than overprovisioning or underutilizing them.
  • Reduced risk for applications and data: Cloud networking enhances the security and compliance of applications and data across different environments. Cloud networking enables IT teams to enforce consistent policies and controls across the network, as well as to encrypt, isolate, and backup data in transit and at rest.

Challenges of Cloud Networking

Cloud networking also poses some challenges for IT teams that need to design, deploy, and maintain a network infrastructure that supports multiple clouds and on-premises environments. Some of the challenges of cloud networking include:

  • Complexity: Cloud networking involves managing multiple network domains, such as public clouds, private clouds, on-premises data centers, edge networks, etc. Each domain may have different architectures, protocols, standards, APIs, etc. This increases the complexity of network integration, interoperability, orchestration, etc.
  • Visibility: Cloud networking reduces the visibility and control that IT teams have over the network resources that are hosted by third-party cloud providers. This makes it harder to monitor and troubleshoot network performance issues, security incidents, etc.
  • Security: Cloud networking exposes applications and data to more potential threats from external sources. This requires IT teams to implement additional security measures to protect the network perimeter, such as firewalls, VPNs, encryption, etc. It also requires IT teams to comply with various regulations and standards that govern data privacy and security in different regions.
  • Skills gap: Cloud networking requires IT teams to have skills and expertise in various domains such as cloud computing, virtualization, software-defined networking, Python programming, cloud infrastructure, cloud security, etc. These skills may not be readily available or easily acquired by existing IT staff.

Best Practices and Solutions for Cloud Networking

To overcome these challenges and reap the benefits of cloud networking, IT teams need to adopt some best practices and leverage some solutions that can help them simplify, optimize, secure, and manage their cloud networks. Some of these best practices and solutions include:

  • Adopting a multi-cloud strategy: A multi-cloud strategy is when an organization uses multiple public cloud services from different providers, such as AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, etc., to host their applications and workloads. A multi-cloud strategy can help IT teams avoid vendor lock-in, increase availability and redundancy, and leverage the best features and capabilities of each cloud provider.
  • Using SD-WAN and SASE for optimized access to IaaS and SaaS services: SD-WAN (software-defined wide area network) is a technology that uses software to dynamically route traffic across WAN links based on performance, cost, security, etc. SASE (secure access service edge) is a technology that combines SD-WAN with cloud-based security services such as firewalls, VPN, encryption, etc., to provide secure and optimized access to cloud-based applications and services.
  • Using cloud-native networking solutions: Cloud-native networking solutions are solutions that are designed and built for the cloud, using cloud-based technologies such as containers, microservices, APIs, etc. Cloud-native networking solutions can help IT teams achieve more scalability, agility, and automation in their cloud networks.
  • Using cloud networking platforms: Cloud networking platforms are platforms that provide a unified and centralized way to manage and control network resources across multiple clouds and on-premises environments. Cloud networking platforms can help IT teams simplify network integration, orchestration, monitoring, troubleshooting, etc., as well as enforce consistent policies and controls across the network.


Cloud computing is transforming the way IT teams deliver and consume network resources. Cloud networking is the use of the cloud to manage and direct traffic traversing a WAN. Cloud networking offers many benefits such as simplification, user-experience assurance, reduced time to market, lower operational costs, and reduced risk for applications and data. However, cloud networking also poses some challenges such as complexity, visibility, security, and skills gap. To overcome these challenges and reap the benefits of cloud networking, IT teams need to adopt some best practices and leverage some solutions that can help them simplify, optimize, secure, and manage their cloud networks.

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