#HowTo Enhance Borderless Networks with Cloud-Managed DDI #NCSAM

As global enterprises begin to blur the lines between borders, organizations need to make sure they have fast, secure access to vital data to keep the business running at an optimum level. To accelerate workflows and better support their users, smart organizations are moving to the cloud, leveraging SD-WAN, SaaS, IPv6 and IoT initiatives. 

However, the move towards leveraging public, private and hybrid cloud networking capabilities across borderless enterprises is not without its challenges. Once the central hub for activity, data centers are now relegated to the network edge. The rising demand for direct-to-cloud access at the edge has outgrown the hub and spoke way of networking, and is now accepted as standard.

To fully embrace the cloud and all of the benefits that stem from cloud-based technology, organizations need a more simplistic, reliable way to manage their network, devices, apps and services across all locations. So how can organizations tackle networking challenges at the edge, with fewer enterprise resources, without compromising on quality?

To achieve a unified service or solution, it has to be cloud-managed DDI (DNS, DHCP and IPAM [IP Address Management]). DDI encompasses the foundation of core network services that facilitates all communications via an IP-based network. By shifting the management plane for DDI from the appliance to the cloud, organizations can manage their borderless enterprise centrally, making it far more secure and reliable than traditional on-premise DDI solutions.

Cloud-managed DDI is a key enabler for digital transformation, optimizing network access and performance across all locations.

Greater flexibility 

Fully-featured, enterprise-grade DDI services are not required across all branches or remote sites for the majority of borderless enterprises. An organization may already have a DNS service that meets all its needs in every location, for example, but is looking to deploy only DHCP or IP address management services in some of the smaller, regional office branches. Similarly, the enterprise may wish to expand DDI capabilities in some branches, but not others. 

For enterprises that are in the midst of digital transformation, having the flexibility to roll out DDI capabilities incrementally enables them to upgrade DHCP while retaining their current IP address management solution, with minimal disruption.

Organizations going through this level of change require a DDI solution that protects them from over-provisioning services in remote sites that may go unused for some time. Cloud-based DDI offers enterprises the flexibility to achieve the right size DDI implementation for each location.

Combatting application latency

The livelihood of many businesses depend on connecting vital manufacturing facilities to global supply chain partners and remote offices. Furthermore, IoT devices have to communicate 24/7, making reliable connections essential. 

Application latency isn’t the only downside to traditional backhauling of DNS and DHCP through a headquarters data center. If the data center is hit by natural disaster or a power outage and the link to its headquarters goes down, remote locations are unable to reach the central unit for DNS and DHCP resolution, meaning that they will lose access to the internet and cloud-based apps. Remote and branch offices need the ability to maintain DDI services locally to ensure always-on networking for all locations. 

Streamlining application access

Reliable access to mission-critical applications at the network edge is crucial for borderless enterprises with a growing number of remote workers and branch locations. This relies on organizations moving away from traditional MPLS architectures, as backhauling network traffic through the data center creates latency and bottlenecks for end users in branch offices and remote sites, having a negative impact on business and slowing down proceedings. 

Making the move to more agile cloud access using applications like Microsoft Office 365 requires a different kind of infrastructure, one where DDI services can be centrally delivered and managed through the cloud, and where traffic from remote locations can connect directly to the closest local PoPs in the cloud, without the backlog.

Increasing scale at the edge 

A large number of modern, high-growth organizations are 100% cloud-based, which means that they don’t have a centralized data center because all apps and services are managed and delivered in the cloud. It can, however, be a challenge to find a solution that is 100% cloud-ready when it comes to managing the growth of branch offices and remote locations.

Core DDI services like DHCP are usually managed by hardware routers or services located at individual sites, and larger enterprises may have hundreds of these across its borderless operations. More often than not, these on-premise devices are resource-intensive, difficult to scale and provide no simple way to monitor and manage multiple locations.

For businesses that were conceived in the cloud, cloud-managed DDI makes it easy to eliminate resource-heavy physical appliances in branch and remote offices. Lightweight devices or virtual appliances can be deployed across remote locations, enabling DDI to be managed centrally in the cloud across all sites.

Centralizing system controls 

Cloud-managed DDI allows organizations to integrate core network services, bringing DNS, DHCP and IPAM together on a single platform. Through replacing siloed, on-premise DNS and DHCP controllers with cloud-native technology, organizations are empowered to digitally transform their offering through integrated DDI services which they can manage centrally in the cloud across locations, ensuring better branch performance, faster access to cloud-based applications and higher availability. 

Traditional networking architecture is no longer enough to manage the explosion of workflow at the edge, driven by today’s borderless enterprises. Flexible organizations require a flexible solution which enables them to accelerate workflows to meet demand and support users and sites, wherever they are located.

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