Ryan Riffle is the network manager for an insurance firm with just under 2,000 employees. The company operates a primary data center, plus another for disaster recovery, to serve two major offices in the south-central US and smaller branches around the country. Three years ago, the company installed a software-defined network based on VMware NSX technology, and now more than 99% of the network operates in a virtual environment.
The flexibility of the software-defined network provides a lot of benefits. Riffle says the company was able to improve its security posture with micro-segmentation for business applications at the virtual layer. (The company does not allow use of its name for the appearance of endorsing any product or vendor.) What’s more, there is no longer a need to have physical third-party appliances that had to be managed differently from the virtual server environment. They were able to remove physical devices, including a hardware firewall, routers and load balancers.