In the last decade two major technology trends have converged and are set to have a significant effect on corporate networks: virtual computing and the rise of cloud technology. Both of these trends dramatically increase the importance of the corporate network on business performance. The result is a significant increase in network traffic from branch to datacentre, from branch to branch and between various devices and the datacentre. Much if this traffic is real-time communications, including video and voice. This results in the necessity for more bandwidth, more latency-sensitive applications and more reliance on network availability and quality.
The emergence of new technologies has meant that network traffic in distributed organisations is manipulated in new ways. Not only do remote users need more bandwidth, notably in areas such as video or media, but they now expect immediate access to cloud-based applications, Software as a Service (SaaS), and remote storage apps.