Addressing the Current and Future Customer Needs in Multi-Cloud Networking and Security

June 27, 2023

Key Considerations for Architecting Application-Centric IT Solutions

As network architectures become more distributed and applications continue to move to the edge, organizations are faced with numerous issues in delivering and securing applications in hybrid and multi-cloud IT environments. Top networking and security challenges include:


  • Connecting distributed networks and apps with disparate tools, policies and processes across heterogeneous platforms and providers.
  • Having inconsistent management and visibility across clouds that makes troubleshooting, security and performance monitoring difficult.
  • Delivering applications consistently when deployed across multiple environments.
  • The lack of in-house security skills and talent, environment complexity and high costs.


To address these challenges, organizations are adopting software-defined networking frameworks to connect cloud, edge and on-premises environments and add agility and scalability to improve business outcomes and time to market. Networking and security are cornerstones in these application-centric architectures and the key foundation to build out a consistent operating model across a hybrid, multi-cloud environment with centralized visibility. To understand the importance of establishing unified cloud and application networking, let’s examine the modern multi-cloud networking environment and why it’s the future of networking.



Why Is Multi-Cloud Networking So Important?

Application delivery has moved from a single origin site in a data center — or cloud — to multiple origin sites across multiple clouds, which provides immense scale with a distributed mesh network. According to a recent F5 survey, 85% of organizations face the challenge of managing and securing both modern and traditional apps, often across a variety of hosting environments.1 But how do organizations reliably connect these distributed applications and services? The manual stitching together of multiple networks and security policies results in headaches for networking, security and DevOps teams.


Multi-cloud networking allows organizations to:


  • Securely connect applications and containerized services like Kubernetes across clouds at scale without adding the management overhead associated with other point-to-point connectivity solutions
  • Work over multiple transit options, including private enterprise networks and cloud provider links, with unified management and security
  • Extend software-defined networking and security capabilities up to, and including, the application layer which can help automate multi-cloud networking for even faster management while lowering costs and complexity



Looking Forward

Looking into the future of multi-cloud networking, security and application delivery, it’s important to consider these four factors:


  1. Users need to be able to connect to applications anywhere.
  2. Applications and APIs need to be secured everywhere, including the edge.
  3. Applications need to be able to run anywhere.
  4. Applications need to be delivered and distributed everywhere that an organization needs them to run.


As we look to the future, there are emerging technologies that can bring these outcomes to bear. In particular, the rise of AI provides a massive opportunity for solving multi-cloud networking and security issues in a very automated way that will also increase visibility and insights for clients.



Now What?

Ready to look at a new approach for your networking, but not sure where to start? Optiv and F5 support customers no matter where they are in their digital transformation journey to extend applications across their distributed enterprise, including multi-cloud, on-premises and at the edge. Our multi-cloud networking solutions have demonstrated the ability to increase business agility by replacing manual processes with automation. We can help customers lower operational costs through increased efficiency in connecting and securing applications in multi-cloud environments — all without needing to change the overarching structure of their business.


1 F5, 2023 State of Application Strategy Report, March 2023

Vice President Product Management | F5
Brian McHenry leads product management for Web Application & API Security on all F5 data planes. In this role, he pulls from over 25 years of experience as a security practitioner and evangelist to set strategy for the BIG-IP Advanced WAF, Distributed Cloud WAAP, and NGINX App Protect product lines. Brian takes pride in enabling F5’s customers to be successful by improving their security postures which makes the Internet a safer place. Brian is a published writer and a frequent speaker at infosec conferences and events. He is a co-founder of Security B-Sides NYC and committed to giving back to the Infosec community.

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