I recently read a strategic article about how networks were getting smarter. The deck of this article claimed, “The app-aware network is advancing. Here’s how to plan for a network that’s much more than a dumb channel for data.”

So far, so good. I agree with this wholeheartedly and sat back, expecting to read something astoundingly brilliant regarding application awareness. I was, to say the least, not just disappointed but really disappointed by the time I finished the article. See, I expected at some point that applications would enter the picture. But they didn’t. Oh, there was a paragraph on application monitoring and its importance to app-aware networks, but it was almost as an offhanded commentary that was out of place in a discussion described as being about the “network.” There was, however,  a discussion on 10gb networking, and then some other discussion on CPU and RAM and memory (essentially server or container concerns, not the application) and finally some words on the importance of automation and orchestration. Applications and application-aware networking were largely absent from the discussion.

That makes baby Lori angry.

Application-aware networking is about being able to understand an application’s data and its behavior. It’s about recognizing that some data is acceptable for an application and some data is not – at the parameter level. It’s about knowing the application well enough to make adjustments to the way in which the network handles requests and responses dynamically to ensure performance and security of that application.

It’s about making the network work with and for, well, the application.