E-Handbook:

Deal with cloud network infrastructure challenges and reap rewards

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How to smooth the cloud-based networking path

Cloud-based networking is an increasingly fundamental part of how companies do business. Around the globe, employees -- whether they are seated at a corporate desk, traveling or working from home -- depend on cloud-based applications to do their jobs. Many companies retain private clouds for business-critical or sensitive data, but many use cloud services or combine public and private clouds in a hybrid approach.

The cloud is central. The cloud is essential. But there is more than one path to the cloud. Networking pros must be able to understand the options and discern which is best for their company's particular workforce. Is a software-defined wide area network best? Will a direct cloud connect be better? Or maybe what you need is a WAN-cloud exchange. It's crucial to understand the possibilities to choose among them.

Whichever path a company takes to cloud computing, choosing a strategy is merely step one. Networks may need upgrading to keep systems updated and responsive; management of the cloud system is also crucial. Corporate managers, and their employees, depend on company networking professionals to ensure infrastructure is updated and responsive. It can be a heavy burden, especially given that vendors' configuration and management tools to set up and manage cloud environments, and data centers, can vary greatly.

In this, our three-part technical guide to cloud-based networking, we examine the latest cloud-based networking options and zero in on related setup and management concerns. Our experts explain how to approach necessary network infrastructure upgrades and which tools can ease cloud management complexity.

The cloud may make working from anywhere, anytime easier for company employees, but it's multiplied the demands on networking pros. Keep up with the latest developments and learn how you can make them work for your enterprise.