What Is Cloud Networking?

Cloud networking offers connectivity to and between applications and workloads across clouds, cloud services, on-premises data centers, and edge networks. It's vital to performance, security, and efficient management of hybrid cloud and multicloud environments.

Why should you care about cloud networking?

Most application interactions begin at or terminate beyond an organization's own network, so cloud networking is becoming the new enterprise core. Designing, deploying, and maintaining a cloud network for agility, performance, security, and efficiency is vital to companies using public cloud services.

What IT teams are responsible for cloud networking?

Cloud networking requires collaboration across several IT operations teams (compute infrastructure, networking, and security), application teams, cloud architects, and business stakeholders, including:

NetOps: Configures and maintains network architectures to different teams, which helps ensure access to applications and resources and provides a consistent user experience

Data center and compute infrastructure teams: Enforces application-aware policies so the network is consistently extended between on-premises and public cloud environments

SecOps: Protects users, access, applications, and data across multiple networks

DevOps and application teams: Leverages network architectures and resources to deploy applications and improve performance

Cloud architects: Contributes to the design of a common strategy across multicloud networking

Help ensure your network operations teams are armed with the right tools

What makes a successful multicloud networking strategy?

Applications: Workloads, microservices, and infrastructure deployed, managed, scaled, and secured easily and consistently

Access: User access to applications, including on-premises, IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, with consistent security, reliability, and performance

Five benefits of multicloud networking

Cloud networking types

Cloud networking

Cloud networking is an umbrella term for the connectivity to and between all variations of on-premises, edge, and cloud-based services, such as IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.

The main benefits of a well-executed cloud networking strategy include:

  • Simplification for lifecycle management
  • User-experience assurance
  • Reduced time to market for service rollout
  • Lower operational costs
  • Reduced risk for applications and data

Learn details

Multicloud networking

Multicloud networking, often used interchangeably with the term cloud networking, refers to advanced capabilities such as application and workload-awareness, SaaS-delivered control plane, and integrations with public cloud providers. This enables easier access to, and automated management, across multiple clouds and on-premises environments.

Typical use cases for multicloud networking include:

  • SD-WAN and SASE for optimized access to IaaS and SaaS services
  • Multicloud software-defined networking (SDN) for consistent application-aware policy automation between on-premises and IaaS environments
  • Hybrid application connectivity across an SD-WAN and between multiple public clouds/on-premises environments

Multicloud solutions

Hybrid cloud networking

Hybrid cloud networking is a subset of cloud and multicloud networking; it relates specifically to the connectivity between two clouds, such as on-premises private, hosted private, and public. It is also commonly used to describe connectivity between an on-premises data center or colocated facility and a public cloud.

Cloud use cases

Cloud networking and cloud-based networking

Cloud-based networking can be used to refer specifically to cloud networking solutions with their control plane hosted and delivered in public clouds; this is in contrast to an on-premises device or software stack. Increasingly, modern cloud networking solutions have a cloud-based management plane.