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Striking the Balancing Act Between Agility and Security in the Cloud Era

Jordan Brown
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For today’s digital businesses, cloud-first transformation is in full effect. I think it’s obvious why this is happening—a cloud-first mindset enables unlimited scalability, agility, efficiency and more. This also goes hand-in-hand with the constant need for mobility and enabling employees, customers, and other users to be connected anywhere and anytime.

Let’s focus on the keyword “connected” for a minute. Think about all of those connection requirements and demands that come with a cloud-first and mobile world! What is it that makes all those connections? Well, it’s the corporate network.

Legacy networks introduce unacceptable tradeoffs

Businesses needs to move fast to keep up with digital-era demands, but legacy networking becomes a roadblock to obtaining greater agility. stirking the balancing actAnd even if you solve that problem, IT needs to ensure users and resources remain secure. That leaves you consistently trying to find a balance between ensuring agility and security at the same time. However, traditional approaches to networking make this balancing act impossible to manage, forcing tradeoffs between agility, efficiency, performance, and security.

Traditional, hub-and-spoke approaches to designing and managing the network are just not going to cut it anymore! Such approaches and technology were designed for decades-old architectures and are unable to scale and support today’s cloud-first world. That’s because legacy networks:

  • Require manual command-line interface (CLI) configuration
  • Experience excessive downtime
  • Are fragile in nature

Tighter security or better performance—why can’t you have both?

In addition, securing today’s distributed networks can introduce similar complexity and compromise. Today, the public Internet has become the de-facto means that connects users to their apps and also to one another. But how are enterprises protecting a network they no longer fully control?

One approach is building perimeters and deploying security appliances in every business location, but this creates appliance sprawl, extra costs, and increased management challenges. On the other hand, backhauling all Internet- or cloud-destined traffic to a central location (e.g., a data center), may simplify management, but results in degraded application performance for cloud apps and subpar user experiences.

Clearly, the shift to cloud and mobile has put new demands and pressures on legacy networks. With outdated architectures coupled with the need to maintain tighter network security it is clear you need to rethink your existing approaches to master the balancing act game. Otherwise, the attractive benefits that come with cloud and mobile adoption are being compromised.

In summary:

  1. Cloud-first transformation is happening NOW
  2. Traditional approaches to networking are NOT able to keep up with this transformation
  3. It is time to rethink your approach to networking so you no longer need to play the balancing game between security and agility in the cloud era AND you will be able to keep up with cloud-first business

Build an agile, secure cloud-first world with Riverbed and Zscaler

Riverbed and Zscaler have partnered together to help you unlock the full potential of the cloud. Together, we are delivering a joint solution that enables a true cloud-first architecture. By seamlessly integrating Riverbed’s SD-WAN solution, SteelConnect, with the Zscaler Cloud Security Platform, enterprises no longer need to prioritize agility for security or vice versa. Enterprises can move quickly to support the dynamic needs of today’s digital businesses while also delivering fast and secure access to cloud applications across all business locations.

Learn more about our joint solution here:

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