What is cloud networking?

Cloud networking refers to hosting or using some or all network resources and services—virtual routers, bandwidth, virtual firewalls, or network management software—from the cloud, whether public, private, or hybrid.

The network can be either cloud-enabled or entirely cloud-based.

Cloud-enabled networking

In cloud-enabled networking, the network is on premises, but some or all resources used to manage it are in the cloud. Core network infrastructure—packet forwarding, routing, and data— remains in-house, but things like network management, monitoring, maintenance, and security services are done through the cloud. One example is using a SaaS-based firewall to protect an on-premises network.

Cloud-based networking

In cloud-based networking, the entire network is in the cloud. This includes network management resources and physical hardware. Cloud-based networking is used to provide connectivity between applications and resources deployed in the cloud.

How the cloud is changing traditional networking

Users around the globe need reliable, secure access to the data and applications they use every day, and the distribution of apps and services across clouds and data centers is creating new challenges for IT. Traditional application delivery controllers and load balancing are no longer sufficient for accessing and delivering apps in a hybrid and multi-cloud world.

Technologies like SD-WAN can help aggregate all types of networks to deliver a consistent user experience, whether users are at a branch office, at home, or on any other network.=

Additionally, with apps moving to the cloud, organizations are also more vulnerable to internet-based attacks. Instead of connecting and then authenticating a user, a secure digital perimeter—encompassing ADCs, gateways, web application firewalls, and secure web gateway components—authenticates a user before allowing access, based on who the user is, where they’re located, and even what device they’re on.

Finally, deploying separate solutions to address each application across a hybrid or multi-cloud environment can be difficult to secure and manage. It’s critical to gain end-to-end visibility and analysis of applications, users, and devices across the network.

Learn how Citrix helps with cloud networking.