In recent years, there has been a major shift in data centre strategies. Indeed, enterprise IT organisations are shifting applications and workloads to the cloud, whether private or public. Enterprises are increasingly embracing software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud services. However, this is driving a dramatic shift in enterprise data traffic patterns, as fewer applications are hosted within the walls of the traditional corporate data centre.
The rise of cloud in the enterprise
There are several key drivers for the shift to SaaS and IaaS services with increased business agility often at the top of the list for enterprises. The traditional IT model of connecting users to applications through a centralised data centre is no longer able to keep pace with today’s changing requirements. According to Logic Monitor’s Cloud Vision 2020 report (1), more than 80 percent of enterprise workloads will run in the cloud by 2020, with more than 40 percent running on public cloud platforms.
This major shift in the application consumption model is having a huge impact on organisations and infrastructure. With organisations migrating their applications and IT workloads to public cloud infrastructure, this tells us that the maturity of using public cloud services and the trust that organisations have in them is at an all-time high. Key to this is speed and agility, without compromising performance, security and reliability.
Impact on the network
Traditional, router-centric network architectures were never designed to support today’s cloud consumption model for applications in the most efficient way. With a conventional, router-centric approach, access to applications residing in the cloud means traversing unnecessary hops through the HQ data centre, resulting in wasted bandwidth, additional cost, added latency and potentially higher packet loss.
In addition, with traditional WAN models, management tends to be rigid and complex and network changes can be lengthy, whether setting up

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