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NetFoundry 2019 Predictions: The Year of Massively Distributed Edge, Multi-Cloud & IoT Applications Getting Networking Solutions to Match

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2019.  Read them in this 11th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Galeal Zino, CEO for NetFoundry

The Year of Massively Distributed Edge, Multi-Cloud & IoT Applications Getting Networking Solutions to Match

Businesses are now dependent on massively distributed applications. Modern applications are increasingly containerized in edge compute and multicloud environments, built on multiple microservices and APIs. 

2019 is the year in which this tidal wave of application requirements hits the network, causing the emergence of a new paradigm based on connecting applications with Zero Trust security and reliability over any network or cloud. 

This new paradigm -Application Specific Networking (ASN) - enables the agility and innovation driving the 2019 trends we will see in edge compute, multicloud, and IoT.

NetFoundry presents 4 Predictions for 2019, centered on how ASNs will enable businesses to innovate at the speed of software in areas such as IoT, hybrid cloud and edge computing, while maintaining the security and reliability which they require.

1.  Replace dedicated circuits with APIs 

Our compute infrastructure has been virtualized and containerized. This was led by cloud compute and now is rapidly moving to edge compute.  Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) paradigms now enable us to spin up our infrastructure in a programmable, automated paradigm.  Now, with ASN, we can spin up our application connections with those same IaC tools.  Rather than configure security via private circuits and dedicated hardware, applications will program Zero Trust application connections over any Internet connection. ASN abstracts the underlying networks and extends the security perimeter all the way to the application. This simplifies application connectivity at scale while enabling granular, Zero Trust security that meets and exceeds even the most stringent compliance standards.  Instead of provisioning private, dedicated circuits to "guarantee" security and reliability, hoping we can protect our applications from the outside world in fortressed silos, we build ASNs - Connections as Code to work with Infrastructure as Code.  We move from a world of configured silos to ecosystems of programmed integrations.

2.  Multi-cloud becomes the norm

Businesses increasingly state that they need the ability to run workloads on any edge or any cloud that is best for a particular workload or at a certain point of time.  Virtualization, containers and Infrastructure-as-Code helps enable this.  Now multicloud interconnectivity via application specific networks will enable the Zero Trust app connections to move with the applications.  Cloud native, application specific networking (ASN) will be the effective bridge that connects applications which are increasingly multicloud and multi-edge. This helps accelerate multi-cloud environments as we no longer need to provision dedicated private circuits or cumbersome point-to-point VPNs to every cloud.

3.  The edge is the new cloud

The cloud paradigm - programmability, automation, scalability - is there to stay.  But the clouds are moving to the edges.  Increasingly workloads will be managed across multiple edges and clouds.  This means we can use the same IaC paradigms across environments.  It also means we need zero trust, application-specific, programmable connectivity from edge to cloud.  We will start to see this environment with the connectivity "built in" in the form of APIs, SDKs and software which can be invoked in standard DevOps, IaC, application and cloud orchestration tools.  DevOps will extend all the way to the network and applications will seamlessly extend from edge to datacenter to cloud.

4.  Ecosystems deliver secure-by-design architectures for the Internet of Things  

The traditional approaches to IT security were simply not designed for the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT-based data and thin devices, such as cameras and sensors, require a different approach to application connection security, and in 2019 this will mean a "Zero Trust", Silicon-to-Cloud approach.   According to a survey by the expert SDN analyst firm Futuriom in October 2018, a majority of businesses are seeking Zero Trust networking and silicon root of trust identity secured networking for secure IIoT application connections. 74.5% said they see silicon root-of-trust, identity secured networking as a critical security feature. IoT security requires an ecosystem approach.  Every layer is critical and every layer needs to work with the others to add up to be a Zero Trust solution in which the identity of the device and application, paired with access and IAM policies, programmatically drive the resultant application connections in an on-demand, least privileged access model. 


2019 will be centered on permission-less, edge-distributed innovation.  The Application Specific Networking architecture starts to enable applications to control the network. Enterprises gain the ability to get secure, reliable application connections over any Internet or WAN connection, without disrupting the WAN, and just in time for the explosion of cloud and IoT distributed applications.


About the Author


Galeal is the Founder of NetFoundry. Prior to NetFoundry, Galeal led software and engineering departments for a mix of start-ups and large multi-nationals, including Founder and President at LocalReplay, VP of Engineering at Teleglobe and VP of Development and Engineering at ITXC.  

Published Wednesday, January 23, 2019 7:42 AM by David Marshall
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