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You no longer need to be the “Department of No”

By: Jen Toscano

You no longer need to be the “Department of No”

The modern enterprise will have network spikes, planned or not, that put strain on network resources. It could be the Olympics or March Madness, a sudden demand for a hot product, or a planned employee webcast. The point is, surges in network traffic are no longer an anomaly – they’ll happen.

Because of these spikes, enterprise IT often has to become the “Department of No,” and put a damper on hosting big events that would strain the security stack – or sometimes even block major events. The “no” can happen even after IT buys as much capacity as the budget allows. Every upgrade in bandwidth is accompanied by a refresh of the full stack of networking and security infrastructure, which is needed to handle the higher throughput.

The cloud has changed all this.

One of our customers, an apparel company with more than thirty thousand employees, was planning to stream a live high-resolution video webcast to all employees, with an anticipated 5 Gbps of load – a 65 percent surge over usual traffic. The company’s total internet circuit was 5 Gbps, so IT leaders were concerned about latency and scale. In a situation like this, many companies are stumped about what to do. It doesn’t make sense financially to invest in a bandwidth upgrade simply for a one-time spike in traffic, since this also requires upgrading every security appliance in the DMZ.

However, since the company’s infrastructure is in the cloud, and truly elastic – that is, enterprise IT doesn’t need to buy new appliances, install virtual machines, or even commission more computers for the extra processing – it only had to worry about network bandwidth at the egress point. The company was able to balance the load between its primary and backup circuits for a total of 10G capacity and support the webcast, seamlessly. The IT team made no investment that wouldn’t be needed after the spike in traffic, and apart from making sure the bandwidth pipe was big enough, they didn’t have to plan or prepare anything else.

A true cloud delivers true elasticity: the ability to stretch network resources to accommodate both unexpected and planned events. And with a true cloud, there is no extra cost and no extra planning required. Elasticity is built in. Price is not based on compute, memory, or bandwidth. It’s based on users – precisely so you don’t have to plan for compute, memory, or bandwidth, and you never have to be the “Department of No.”




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