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As endpoints (users and things) and applications become more dispersed and distributed, network complexity multiplies. While adoption of public cloud is growing, 50% of workloads are still deployed on-premises. As a result, most environments will continue to be a mix of public cloud, hosted, private cloud, edge, and on-premises environments. For any transaction, each hop in the journey (from cloud to network, user to workload, private cloud to public cloud, cloud microservice to edge microservice) introduces new management, performance, and security considerations. Many of these elements are increasingly out of the direct control of the network operations team—even though the user experience is dependent on the end-to-end journey and is still very much the responsibility of IT.So, it’s understandable that complexity ranks highly in respondents’ minds. Complexity of security (56%) and of end-to-end management (53%) are the top two networking challenges in managing the hybrid cloud and distributed workloads. Asked about networking specifically for cloud-native deployments, security was again respondents’ top concern. The number one challenge was securing microservices traffic (34%). The high ranking of automating network workflows (32%) and visibility and control (31%) also points to the pressing need to simplify network complexity for cloud-native environments.

Simplicity and security are the must-haves