As digital transformation becomes the driving imperative for modern organisations to scale and improve competitiveness, traditional IT infrastructure must also transform. Older physical server rooms are labour intensive and expensive to maintain.\nNow, there are several datacentre modernisation options \u2013 including Edge computing and private and public Clouds \u2013 that help transform datacentres from cost-centres to growth centres.\nThe latest offering in this space is the Virtual Cloud Network (VCN), a software-first approach to the network to increase agility, scalability, and cost-efficiency. The VCN is a software layer across the entire datacentre infrastructure, from physical server to public and private Clouds and Edge, linking it all. It provides secure, constant connectivity for apps and data, no matter where they operate.\nTaking a software-first approach to network architecture is vital for digital transformation and differentiation in a changing world, because traditional IT infrastructure is not designed for the kind of pervasive connectivity required to operate in a post-digital transformation world. A software-driven infrastructure is fast, secure, always connected, flexible, scalable, and agile enough to keep up with the speed of change.\nThe business case for a VCN\nA software-first approach has a number of business advantages, including:\n\nImproving security by embedding it into the infrastructure, network compartmentalisation via micro-segmentation, data encryption, and an automatic detection and response to security threats.\nImproving connectivity and performance by providing a software layer connecting everything, no matter what type of infrastructure it resides in.\nIncreasing agility\/app deployment\/intelligence by optimising the deployment of apps and data across the entire business in real time.\nReducing costs and time associated with IT infrastructure and teams, by unifying disparate systems across physical, Cloud and Edge systems, for automatic and continuous availability and resources.\n\nIDC recently undertook a survey of the business value of software-first networking using VMware NSX and found\u00a0 benefits included:\n\n39 per cent faster response to network problems,\nA38 per cent less unplanned downtime,\n48 per cent more efficient networking,\n42 per cent faster deployment of network firewalls, and\n81 per cent less staff time to support service requests.\n\nHow Metrobank Card improved its customer experience\nA VCN built on VMware\u2019s NSX technology provides the agility and scalability required to take advantage of business opportunities. In fact, Metrobank Card Corporation (MCC) recently became the first bank in the Philippines to adopt VMware NSX. MCC wanted to take advantage of new market opportunities to attract more customers by accelerating time to market for new products and services. However, its existing infrastructure meant it took weeks, if not months, to integrate a physical server into the process, which was then subject to reliability and availability issues. This resulted in the bank having 100 physical servers at one point, all of which were cumbersome to maintain, slow, and prone to security issues that were expensive to rectify.\nVMware proposed its software-defined datacentre to support MCC\u2019s goals of driving innovation, accelerating business velocity, establishing competitive advantage, and reducing IT expenditure. The solutions used included VMware vCloud Suite, VMware Site Recovery Manager, VMware NSX, and VMware vCenter.\nMCC relied on VMware\u2019s technical account managers to address requirements for compute, storage, network and application-level resources, while ensuring business continuity and data recovery. Since deployment, MCC can create entire networks in software, and provision network components in minutes.\n\u201cMCC has come a long way with VMware\u2019s solutions. Six years ago, we faced several challenges to our business operations. Then, we were placed fourth in the market, but thanks to VMware, we have become more competitive and are now the predominant credit card provider in the Philippines,\u201d MCC first vice-president and chief business technology officer, Francis De Los Santos, said.\nMCC\u2019s digital and Cloud transformation journey resulted in significant business benefits, including space, time, and cost savings, the fulfilment of recovery point objective and recovery time objective targets, compliance with regulatory provisions, an efficient IT team, enhanced security, and an overall improved customer experience.\nThe VCN is the operating model of the future, as applying a software-first approach allows for more agility, scalability, better networking, and heightened security.\nBy delivering secure, pervasive connectivity with the speed of software, VMware\u2019s envisages a VCN with no more siloes, lost opportunities or security issues for business. As a result, VMware technology is now deployed by 13,000 customers, 88 of the Fortune 100 and eight of the top 10 telcos, and reaches more than 150,000 branch offices via VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud.\nWith VMware Virtual Cloud Network, using solutions such as NSX, SD-WAN, Load Balancer, vCloud, AppDefense, customers can experience an average reduction in capital expenditure\u00a0 of 59 per cent and a 55 per cent reduction in operational expenditures.\nTo find out more, visit VMware.