Virtualized workloads need virtualized network optimization to deliver peak performance wherever users work. We already have cloud-ready mobile applications, thanks to tremendous advances in server and storage virtualization in the last decade. And we certainly have cloud-ready users — they’re already more mobile and cloud-ready than most of our infrastructure. It's high time the network catches up, but the reality is that most existing networks still rely on point solutions that optimize performance for a limited set of applications.
WAN optimization and application delivery controllers have certainly proven their worth, but rigid appliance architectures have led to pockets of redundant optimization components, from the data center to the branch to the laptop. These "islands of optimization" should be the target of the next generation of network architectures. Just as server and storage virtualization freed up compute and storage capacity that was previously tightly linked to one server, array, or application, new network architectures must free up all the network optimization capacity currently locked up in point devices.