How COVID-19 is shaping enterprise networking

The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the networking arena in a number of ways, including the rise of fully automated remote offices, the need to support a “branch of one,” and the growth of new communications software tools.

“One of the biggest trends we are seeing is business agility. That is, IT looking at the tech they have deployed and evaluating it not just in terms of speeds and feeds, but how agile it is to handle whatever’s coming next,” said Todd Nightingale, Cisco’s Enterprise Networking & Cloud business chief. “Software APIs are a huge part of that trend, because it is amazingly easier to handle changes through APIs and software that make it possible to change things in a day rather than months.”

In Cisco’s case, Nightingale says it’s looking to increase support for technologies such as open-source programming tools Terraform and Ansible to make automation easier and more agile.

It’s also becoming more important that network professionals continue to amp-up software skills, such as using APIs and code repositories, to tap the full capabilities of today’s networks, said Susie Wee, senior vice president of Cisco’s DevNet Ecosystem Success group, in a recent blog post. It takes their networking skills plus software knowledge to securely connect business-critical applications together through the cloud, she stated.

Cisco has built API access into its latest networking hardware, and it created links into the business cloud services, such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Office365, and Google Cloud, so Cisco can programmatically manage the interface between business networks and these clouds, Wee added.

Cloud and automation

Taking advantage of such cloud APIs will be a key driver for companies in the current and post-COVID networking environment.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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