Ask the Expert With Myriad360: Cloud Integrated Network

Chris Grundemann, VP, Strategy, Myriad360

In his current role as VP of Strategy at Myriad360, Chris helps clients build bigger, faster, and more efficient technology infrastructures that are not only more secure, but also easier to operate and scale.

Chris has more than a decade of experience as both a network engineer and solution architect designing, building, securing and operating large IP, Ethernet and Wireless Ethernet networks.

Cloud-Integrated Networks have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they enable a company to provide ubiquitous connectivity to users and applications no matter where they are. Here, Myriad360’s Chris Grundemann, VP of Strategy, talks about the role a Cloud-Integrated Network can play and what companies need to know if they’re thinking about building one.


Q: In Your Experience, Why Are So Many Companies Building a Cloud-Integrated Network?

A: There are basically two reasons: 1) To modernize their traditional IT infrastructure and take full advantage of cloud-like consumption models; and 2) To gain more visibility and control over their network by adding telemetry and advanced analytics, and by being able to centrally manage and provision new users, sites, etc.


Q: What is the Difference Between a Cloud-Integrated Network and a Traditional Network?  

A: In the past, most companies had a three-tiered network that generally consisted of: 1) An access layer (to connect users and/or servers); 2) An aggregation/distribution layer (where routing and policy enforcement happened); and 3) A core layer (which connected everything together and made it all work at really high speeds).


However, with a Cloud-Integrated Network, that structure is fundamentally changed to a two-tiered model that consists of: 1) The underlay layer, meaning the physical IT infrastructure; and 2) A virtual network built on top of the physical layer, which includes overlays and tunnels created using software and virtualization. This layer allows companies to build and enforce connectivity and security and increase visualization through telemetry and real-time analytics.


Q: What Are Some Signs a Company Needs a Cloud-Integrated Network?

A: Every organization that operates in multiple locations and/or leverages external vendors and resources needs a Cloud-Integrated Network. The biggest reason is because they need their network to function as a single, cohesive platform to support their business. But to do that, a company must enable local processing and localized network functions by embedding the cloud (i.e., server and storage resources) into their network. Moreover, they need a network architecture that’s nimble and dynamic, can scale as the demand for data grows, and that also automates most of their business processes.


That said, Cloud-Integrated Networks aren’t an all or nothing solution; A Cloud-Integrated Network is really more of a journey and a guiding principle. Some organizations begin their journey by building a full Cloud-Integrated Network, while others might start by using an SD-WAN or new technology such as network functions virtualization (NFV) to connect multiple sites and then expand from there. It all just depends on what an organization’s needs and goals are.


Q: How Does a Company Know if it has Achieved a Truly Integrated Cloud-Integrated Network?

A: If they’re providing users with consistent and ubiquitous connectivity and network access everywhere they operate. I say this because if you’re really building a network right (meaning a company’s employees, partners and customers are always able to securely connect to the applications, data and resources they need from wherever they are), most people don’t notice the network because everything just works and runs smoothly. Another big sign is that the company starts to see a significant reduction in support tickets and troubleshooting.


For more information about Cloud-Integrated Networks and how they can help you provide secure connectivity everywhere you operate, visit