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Enterprise cloud networks

Accelerate enterprise cloud network automation and innovation

Enterprises are adding new sources of data such as industrial IoT, mobile devices, video, analytics tools and AI/ML applications to gain greater insights to service their clients and optimize their own operations. Harnessing the exponential potential of this data requires secure, modern, flexible and more automated cloud networking operations.

Data centers and cloud networks are vital components for the success of today’s businesses: from managing workloads and applications to automating operations, to gaining new insights from data analytics that reveal unforeseen business opportunities. But more data leads to better results only if you can effectively manage, access, process and secure that data. Nokia cloud network solutions are built with open, extensible, secure, cloud-native architectures designed to open new opportunities for enterprises by taking advantage of modern intent-based operations and the ease of cloud-consumption models.

How does a modern enterprise cloud network enable digital transformation?

A modern enterprise cloud network enables the digital transformation of the business by providing the cloud infrastructure together with operational agility and automation to collect, analyze and create new applications to transform the business.

Today’s enterprise IT data center and cloud networking teams face a difficult challenge: How to find time to develop new applications and services to meet the growing needs of their business and automate their operations.

The rising cost of public clouds

Over the past decade, enterprises have moved many workloads and applications onto public clouds enabling them to consolidate the number of their own data centers and reduce both CAPEX and OPEX costs. However, as this shift took place, enterprises have seen the cost for these cloud networks rise significantly and are now auditing their public cloud costs more closely.

Rebalancing data centers

As a result, enterprises are now evaluating their overall cloud migration strategy and how it aligns with their own data center network infrastructure. They are adopting a revised hybrid cloud architecture by repatriating some of the business and mission critical workloads back to their own private clouds where maintaining operational control and regulatory compliance as well as securing personal data integrity is essential. Often these workloads require greater level of reliability and security with more memory, processing and storage – all of which drives up their costs. Non-business critical applications with lower network performance, with less time dependencies and lower cloud resource levels can remain in public clouds.

For these business and mission critical workloads the enterprise needs a scalable, high-performance, modern data center and cloud network that is both resilient and can easily adapt to meet the demands of their business. They also want it built with a cloud-native, open architecture that delivers the flexibility of public cloud environments along with a robust tool set while still meeting the highest levels of security to protect their proprietary data and their customers.

For the IT network operations team, a hybrid-cloud architecture creates the need for greater observability into and control over workloads, no matter where they’re located. It requires new levels of automation to reduce operational complexity and accelerate innovation.

IT staff shortages and running the network limit growth opportunities

Enterprise IT network operations team want to be responsive to the needs of the business but there are several barriers that hinder them. The first is the continuous and widespread shortage of experienced IT network professionals and many enterprises have difficulty hiring skilled or even entry-level talent. The second barrier is that the network operations team spends the majority of their day running the network - performing routine network admin tasks, adding new devices, troubleshooting and fixing problems. This leaves them very little time to provide and support infrastructure enhancements to grow the business.


Webscale designed to turn your hybrid-cloud network into a resource for business growth

Network operations business dilemma

Besides these barriers, the enterprise network operations team faces a dilemma of competing company performance requirements. On one hand, the business lines they serve want to move quickly by creating new applications and services in response to customer demands and competitive pressures. To accelerate this development, innovative enterprises have introduced DevOps software tools and CI/CD methods and processes into their software life-cycle management. This requirement to rapidly scale and support the speed of the business puts stress on the cloud network and impacts how it operates. 

On the other hand, enterprises depend upon the business and mission critical applications and services that are essential to its operation and to the customers they serve. They run over the enterprise data center and cloud networks and are relied upon to be always available, with no or limited performance degradations. This requires that the cloud network infrastructure also must support high availability with guaranteed service levels of performance. Any changes or updates to the network are performed by network operations with careful planning to ensure there is no unplanned disruption to service. This slow, deliberate process creates frustration and conflict between the business lines that want to move quickly and the operations teams that must maintain high-availability and performance for these critical services.

To mitigate this dilemma, enterprise network operations have added automation tools and capabilities in their data centers and cloud networks. However, these improvements often were introduced on top of the existing network infrastructure with enhancements to the existing hardware platforms and features added onto existing Network Operations Systems (NOS). Existing enterprise cloud networking NOSs are not designed to support the level of automation that’s needed in today’s business environment. They are limited in their openness and extensibility that gives the network operations team the tools to develop and customize the cloud network to meet the rapidly changing requirements of the business. They also lack the intent-based data model management and the full stack streaming telemetry information to get a comprehensive view of the network and how it is performing.

As enterprises digitally transform their businesses — adding new devices and adopting new digital applications and seeking to gain deeper insights into their operations' workloads — the volume of data they generate and consume will grow exponentially. This drives a need for an enterprise cloud network that is designed and built for the NetOps era – one that is more open, flexible, and automated that gives the network operations teams the tools and capabilities to confidently support the rapidly changing needs of the business without compromising on the reliability and performance of the network to run their business and mission-critical applications and services.

What are the key requirements of a modern enterprise cloud networking solution to accelerate automation and innovation?

Enterprises that are driving forward with their initiatives to accelerate the adoption of automation and innovation into their operations must have at their foundation the cloud networking infrastructure built with industry-leading technology, with field-proven designs and large-scale deployments and an understanding of the needs and goals of their business. This cloud networking infrastructure consists of the following three essential solutions:

  • Modern, flexible, automated cloud networking solution 
  • High-performance, scalable IP edge, access and data center gateway routing 
  • High-capacity DWDM optical transport for data center network inter-connectivity.

Modern data center and cloud networking requirements

To address rapidly changing market dynamics for increasing capacity, performance, agility, and innovation while still delivering the reliability and the security need for mission-critical operations, enterprises are reevaluating their data center and cloud network architecture and strategy. The realization is that although there have been improvements in platform’s Operating Systems, network automation, observability and cost, they are still not delivering on all the requirements of a modern enterprise data center.

What are the requirements of a modern enterprise cloud network?

data center

A scalable, high-performance and terabit data center fabric

Modern enterprise cloud networks are built with data center fabrics that is a network of leaf-spine switches, routers and data lakes. The Nokia 7220 IXR fixed variants and the Nokia 7250 IXR modular leaf-spine switches provide the high-performance, density and capacities needed for modern data center technologies and workloads. With full duplex throughput capacity of up to 25.6 Tb/s and 28.8 Tb/s for the 7720 IXR and 7250 IXR respectively, these interconnect routers provide with a wide range of high-speed interfaces: 1G/10G/25G/40G/100G /400G and beyond.


Open, extensible, resilient Network Operating System

To gain the maximum benefits of automation and innovation from cloud networks, the underlying Network Operating Systems (NOS) must be open and extensible. Nokia SR-Linux (SRL) NOS is built with an innovative open architecture, using cloud-native design principles that is micro-services based that supports hitless application upgrades and resilient networking upgrades to ensure mission and business critical service continuity.   


Model-driven management with full stack observability and telemetry

Any cloud networking operations organization wants a modern NOS with a model-driven management design, with full stack telemetry, YANG data models with gPRC Network Management Interface (gNMI) enabling network automation to better visibility, efficiency and reduce costs. SR Linux is built from the beginning with a model-driven management design and YANG data models enabling NetOps network automation to improve efficiency and reduce costs.  It supports an open, scalable telemetry framework for  unmatched observability and streaming telemetry using gRPC framework and gPRC Network Management Interface (gNMI).

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The ability to create tools and agents and share information across other applications

Cloud networking DevOps want software development kits (SDKs) and libraries that allows them to customize their network and its operations with agents and tools to meet the specific needs of their business. The Nokia NetOPs Development Kit (NDK) is a suite of libraries that allows enterprise IT and cloud team to program high-performance, integrated agents that run alongside the Nokia Service Router Linux (SR Linux).  Agents built with the gRPC NDK share state information with other applications and enable the Operations team to create their own configurations.

Network Automation and Management banner

Network Automation and Management and network digital twin capabilities

Life-cycle management and automation of your enterprise operations is essential in a modern data center network with network operations tools that reduce network management complexity and improve visibility. Nokia Fabric Services System (FSS) supports life-cycle management and automation of your data center fabric network. It is an intent based NetOps toolkit that reduces data center management complexity and improves data center fabric visibility.  With FSS, network operations can create a virtual digital twin of their data center fabric to test and validate changes before they are deployed which lowers the risk of misconfigurations and service disruptions. 

Nokia has extensive experience working with webscale and large enterprises in evolving their data center architectures and network operations. Our technology innovations in Data Center Fabric networks are built to address the unique needs of the enterprise cloud network. It delivers the scalability and performance needed to support emerging data center technologies and workloads.

IP Routing and Data Center Gateway requirements for cloud networks

IP edge and core routing is an essential function of an enterprise cloud network with multiple instances where IP services and gateway access are need entering and exiting the data center. 

What are the requirements of the IP network to support the enterprise cloud network?

Speed and capacity with flexible port interfaces as enterprise cloud networks increase in both scale and capacity. IP edge and core routing is needed with the scale and capacity to provide the connectivity that’s needed today and in the future. The Nokia 7750 SR-s series of IP router provides a product family with platforms ranging from 1.6 Tb/s to 216 Tb/s full duplex system capacity. It leverages its own leading edge FP network processors that provide deterministic packet processing at scale even for process intensive operations. And universal line cards, with support for any speed on any service on any port, ranging from 10GE to 800GE. 

Deterministic application and service delivery as the enterprise business grows new applications and services within its cloud networks will require differentiated QoS treatment. IP routers within the cloud network must be able to deliver deterministic performance at scale.

The Nokia FP5 network processor used in the 7750 SR-s support fine grain QoS and high-scale routing and delivery of any service with no performance degradation.

Network automation Enterprise network operations want to be able to manage their own data center and cloud networks in the same way that they manage and operate their public cloud. Network automation capabilities such as intent based model-driven management and programmable Oss are needed across the entire cloud networking infrastructure. The Nokia Service Router Operating System (SR-OS) used in the Nokia IP Service Routers family provide the programmability and model-driven management capabilities that enable enterprises to automate their operations.

Multi-layer security: With the increasing number of IoT devices and the adoption of wireless access technologies, the threat of attacks and hacking into enterprise networks is a major concern. Data Centers need security protection at all layers of the network infrastructure. The Nokia 7750 SR is secure by design with router control, data and management plane protection together with embedded security built into every layer of our IP network and universal encryption (ANYsec) to secure any service, over any transport at line rate. 

Power efficiency Enterprises are looking for ways to reducing the power consumption of their cloud networks. The Nokia 7750 SR-s power efficient design and density optimization based upon FP5 network processor typically consumes power at the rate of 0.1W/Gig in chassis-based systems.

Optical transport requirements for cloud networks

The growth of enterprise data traffic requires their cloud networks to increase in speed, capacity and scale. The adoption of AI/ML and other industrial metaverse applications and tools will only further accelerate this volume of data traffic. In addition to the increase in the capacity for intra-connectivity within the data centers, there is also a greater need for high-capacity optical networks to inter-connect the enterprise cloud networks.

What are the requirements of the Optical network to support the enterprise cloud network?

Open architectures with advanced coherent: Enterprises building modern cloud networks want optical solutions with open architectures that can scale capacity while meeting the performance and operational automation requirements and lower the transport cost per bit. The Nokia Open Optical Networking solutions are high-performance, automated disaggregated platforms that provide the independent scaling of their data center optical networking equipment from their DWDM Optical Line Systems (OLS) allowing them to take advantage of the rapid changes in technology for increases in gigabit speeds and terabyte capacity.

Modular, compact enterprise optical data center platforms: The shift to cloud-based enterprise services creates a greater need for modular optical data center platforms with greater bandwidth capacities to interconnect their data centers and cloud networks. The Nokia 1830 Photonic Services Interconnect – Modular (PSI-M) modular architecture allows enterprises to configure the interfaces and capacities that are needed for each application. Supporting Nokia’s sixth generation of super-coherent optics, PSE-6s, that delivers increase in scale and fiber capacity, supporting 400GE and 800GE high-speed interfaces across metro, long-haul and sub-sea networks while reduce power consumption.

Optical network automation: As enterprise cloud networks increase in scale and complexity, it becomes more difficult to manage the underlying optical networks. With Nokia WaveSuite set of applications, an enterprise gains operational efficiency and maximize the use of these resources.

Coherent optics: With demand for bandwidth increasing enterprise need cloud networks that can cost-effectively add capacity where it’s needed. Nokia’s Coherent Routing solution combines pluggable digital coherent optics with our IP Service Routing portfolio, optical transport systems and network automation for more efficient and cost effective IP network designs.

Flexible, scalable, inter-connect data center cloud networks options: As enterprise rebalance workloads between their data centers and cloud networks, they need high-performance, scalable, high-capacity and secure data interconnect solutions. Our Data Center Interconnect (DCI) options include packet optical transport, IP/MPLS routing and SDN solutions for both the data center and the WAN. They support wavelength, Ethernet and IP interfaces giving enterprises options to choose the best solution to meet their business needs.

These offer new horizons for scalability, making it possible to add capacity without enlarging the physical data center footprint.  

How do AI/ML and other transformative technologies affect enterprise data centers?

The rapid advancement of AI and ML and other transformative technologies such as VR and the industrial metaverse are fundamentally changing how enterprise data centers are being designed and built. These applications add new network, computing, memory, storage and security requirements. They also will require a different way for data center/cloud networking teams to operate and maintain them.

AI workloads can generate large data volumes over a period of time, called “elephant data flows” that are compute-intensive that require hundreds or even thousands of DPUs across the data center. Therefore, these workloads require a greater level of network performance: high-bandwidth interconnectivity, low-latency and lossless transmission across the enterprise’s data center and cloud network. Quality of service is also important so that AI traffic can be prioritized and bottlenecks are avoided.

AI/ML can also help automate routine maintenance processes, streamline data center operations and vastly improve other tasks related to workload management and orchestration. This can help take some of the pressure off IT staff, giving them more time to focus on innovations that will support the growth of the business (such as developing new applications).

How are security and privacy concerns affecting enterprise data centers?

Given the immense value of their data, protecting it from malicious actors is a critical concern for enterprises. A security breach can be expensive, not only financially but also in reputational damage. Enterprises need to comply with increasingly stringent rules and regulations for data privacy, data management, storage and security. As ransomware, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and other cyber-threats become increasingly sophisticated, keeping up with the ever-evolving threat landscape demands more and more resources all the time. 

Nokia Deepfield Defender is a DDoS prevention solution that combines big-data IP analytics with the advanced capabilities of Nokia’s fully programmable FP5 network processors used in our 7750 SR-s to neutralize DDoS attacks provide at the IP networks edge or at peering points. Deepfield Defender can also be combined with the 7750 Defender Mitigation System (DMS), a dedicated security enforcement platform delivering high performance with speed, power efficiency and scalable capacity, along with advanced DDoS protection and automation capabilities.

The emergence of quantum computing also brings the threat of quantum attacks. Although access to quantum computers is still limited and there is not yet a quantum computer powerful enough to carry out a quantum attack, it’s only a matter of time. Current security measure will be no match for quantum threats when they emerge, so organizations need to start protecting themselves now with quantum-safe networking solutions. The Nokia Optical quantum-safe networking solution provides quantum-safe encryption, key management and intrusion detection to keep your data safe and your network secure.


There is growing pressure — regulatory, social and economic — for enterprises to make their operations more sustainable. Enterprises are looking for solutions that use resources more efficiently, cut power consumption to help meet their ESG goals.

How Nokia solutions can help you achieve your climate goals

We are committed to helping deliver a cleaner and more connected world. In 2017 we were among the first 100 companies in the world to commit to reducing our emissions in line with the landmark Paris climate agreement.

  • Our science-based climate targets are being recalibrated with the latest 1.5°C warming scenario
  • We deliver zero emission products to over 150 customers globally
  • We are exploring how to reduce single-use plastics and have a circular practices and products program in place
  • Our IP and optical technologies will help make human activities more efficient and more environmentally friendly for the planet.

Learn more about Nokia’s sustainability approach.


atNorth and Nokia partner to level up sustainable data center networking

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