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What is Cloud Networking?

Also known as virtual cloud networking (VCN), cloud networking represents the modern evolution of an enterprise network. In a traditional configuration, the enterprise network acts as the backbone of an organization, connecting databases, computers, devices, and more into a single hub of information and data transfer. In this model, hardware within a data center stores everything, with all management, resources, and services overseen and maintained by a local IT staff. With cloud networking, the same principles are applied but brought into the cloud. Services, features, management, and all other logistics reside in the cloud, either in a private cloud network or with a third-party public cloud provider.

This comes with a number of benefits only achievable via virtual cloud networking.

  • Easier and faster scalability
  • More robust security
  • Greater options to maintain availability
  • Integration of cloud-based features

Cloud networking is the clear path to move enterprises into the future regarding their data. In some cases, using a hybrid solution offers a best-of-both-worlds choice that keeps some data local based on specific needs while taking advantage of virtual cloud networking’s many benefits.

Experience Oracle Cloud Networking

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure delivers networking connectivity solutions across both physical and virtual networks. Learn more about the Oracle Cloud networking possibilities or sign up for a free trial today.

Cloud Networking Basics

What makes up a cloud network? To understand this, it’s important to examine what’s actually happening under the hood with various network configurations. In a traditional model, IT departments often put servers in their own silos with specific data and management needs. This has evolved to virtualization, which allows for multiple operating systems and applications to exist in partitions on the same physical server, resources scaling as needed between the partitions. In a cloud network environment, all of these elements move to the cloud, which is powered by multiple servers capable of scaling resources as needed without the inherent resource limitations of a single virtual machine.

Thus, cloud networking represents the most cutting-edge and efficient way to run an enterprise from a practical perspective, even without looking at the various improved security and management features layered on top of it. For IT departments, getting to that goal requires looking at an organization's existing setup, future plans, and current capabilities. Some of the most critical factors to be weighed include:

  • Scaling Cloud Networks: Scalability is a factor that needs to be addressed across a development life cycle as resources shift and different elements of collaboration and testing generate demand. A cloud networking strategy must be built with the ability to plan ahead, enabling scalability as needed for continued operation and efficient budgeting.
  • Reliable VCN: Given that the enterprise will have to support both internal and external means, any decisions regarding a cloud network’s configuration should consider overall reliability as part of its scope, including failover options and the ability for automation to assist with both proactive and reactive repair.
  • Other Cloud: Connections: Will the cloud network be the sole resource for the organization or will there be a need for a hybrid setup featuring some locally data stored? Whatever works best for your specific needs, this decision must be considered in scope, including if a hybrid solution is part of a gradual migration to cloud.

Why Cloud Networking?

The enterprise world is turning to cloud networking as a means to access more powerful resources and connectivity. Why is this shift happening? In almost all cases, the ongoing evolution of technology has ensured that virtual cloud networking is simply the smarter choice: safer, easier to use, more robust, and ultimately more efficient for both resources and cost. In addition, it allows access to further features and resources typically unavailable in traditional networking. Some of the benefits of cloud networking include:

  • Cloud security: With cloud networking, security can be managed and automated on a scale unachievable on a traditional enterprise network. Configuration updates, deployment, and automated monitoring are all within reach by putting the network in the cloud. And by using major cloud providers, security is provided by organizations dedicated to keeping data safe rather than an IT staff balancing security, availability, and logistics.
  • Cloud management: In a cloud environment, management becomes both simpler and more robust. Cloud management enables configuring, patching, and updating with anywhere/anytime access. Advanced features such as flexible IP assignments create further capabilities only possible through cloud network management.
  • Flexible cloud: Because virtual cloud networking creates a unified and in-sync enterprise, network managers gain flexibility over both broad strokes and finer details. Issues such as permissions, visibility, collaborative access, and the ability to extend existing networks become part of a simplified management experience, delivering an ease-of-use for both the IT staff and the individual end user.
  • Scalable cloud: Virtual cloud networking provides scalability in a way that is simply impossible in a local environment. With a cloud network, resources can easily be activated or disabled based on existing resource demands. This means that organizations using a cloud network no longer need to maintain hardware for worst-case scenarios and instead can utilize services that adapt as required.
  • Total cost of ownership: Because on-demand provisioning is inherent with virtual cloud networking, total cost of ownership is reduced. Hardware acquisition, configuration, and maintenance is minimized because a pay-as-you-use environment no longer requires a safety net for resource spikes. Instead, IT budgets can be planned and utilized on an as-needed level, including planning for variables such as critical stages during development (testing, troubleshooting, etc.) to scaling end-user applications as revenue-generating processes demand.

Cloud networking services use cases

How can an enterprise best make use of virtual cloud networking? Take a closer look at these specific use cases for a greater understanding of cloud networking’s potential and scope.

  • Extend on-premises networks: A virtual cloud network can take your existing on-premises network and power it through a virtual private network (VPN), enabling a wide range of benefits including encrypted communication and consolidated access to resources. Learn more.
  • Automate network security: Cloud networks have the scope and management capabilities to implement security automation. This can be anything from automating patch deployment to policy-based security enforcement to using artificial intelligence and machine learning to anticipate problems—and repair them—before they get out of hand. Learn more.
  • Traffic inspection and cloud management: Cloud networks can easily implement a hub-and-spoke topology, and in doing so, can create efficiency in managing resources and traffic based on various specific needs. This enables isolation of specific customers for resource usage or compliance requirements. Learn more.
  • Create and segregate different cloud service environments: The ability to be flexible across usage, size, and scope is one of the biggest benefits of a virtual cloud network. In the case of the development lifecycle, this means that different stages will have different requirements -- or if stages are running in parallel, resources could concurrently spike. Development, testing, implementation, and maintenance all have individual needs; a cloud network can easily adapt as resource demands shift while even creating different environments to accommodate. Learn more.

Cloud networking customer success

Our Cloud Networking Service has powered organizations of all sizes successfully. Here are just a few of their cloud success stories:

Gonzaga University: Internationally renowned Gonzaga University selected Oracle Cloud Networking Service to accelerate its financials upgrade, improve disaster recovery, and maintain high security standards. After evaluating different options, an internal vote went unanimously to our cloud platform. Learn more.