Hybrid Cloud Scenarios: Control the Network

Pragnesh Panchal

Hybrid Cloud

Talk to any organization thinking about moving to the public cloud and concerns about security and performance inevitably come up. Aside from the security measures applied by a potential public cloud provider, a big concern is the transmission of proprietary information over the public Internet. Virtual private networks (VPNs) provide a good encrypted transmission solution, but even they can be hacked, and the congestion, latency and uneven performance of the public Internet can have a serious impact on the performance of any application running in the public cloud.

Crafting a hybrid cloud strategy is all about deciding what to keep private, which depends on your priorities. This is the fourth of our Hybrid Cloud Scenario blogs, which aim to help you better plan your hybrid cloud migration. The Foundational scenario was about cost, flexibility, agility and fast time to market. Control the Data was all about data security and compliance and, in some cases, performance. Disaster Recovery was about affordable business continuity. The subject of this blog, Control the Network, is about data security, cost and application performance.

Go Direct

In previous hybrid cloud scenario blogs, we discussed the performance and security advantages of procuring a direct private interconnection between your private cloud and the public cloud. To save network costs, you’ll want your data center or colocation provider data center as close as possible to the network provider, public cloud provider, or both.

Take it Up a Notch with Peering

Controlling the network with a private connection becomes even more important if you’re running a real-time multi-player gaming, high-definition or 4K-resolution streaming video service with data transmissions requirements measured in petabytes and the most stringent latency requirements. In this case, taking advantage of direct connections to Internet peering exchanges ̶ where network providers, content providers, enterprises, and content delivery and eyeball networks exchange traffic at very high speed ̶ can have a dramatic performance and latency impact, as they slash the numbers of hops to your users, customer and partners. As an added benefit, peering can also be cost-effective for very large volumes of data.

Combine peering with a provider with multiple global data centers close to the principal locations of your customers, partners or end users and you get something resembling your own content delivery network, similar to what Netflix created with its OpenConnect.

Peering works well for companies that have their primary applications in the public cloud and want to control the network leading to their customers. How about those enterprises whose primary infrastructure is in their private or colocation data center but who want to explore the public cloud?

For these enterprises, public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure provide virtual private cloud (VPC) services that link directly to your corporate network. Such solutions are appealing to CIOs seeking best-of-breed multi-cloud solutions as a direct extension to their corporate WANs.

As software defined networking (SDN) (particularly SD-WAN) becomes mainstream, many CIOs will want to “take back” the WAN control plane and use SDN to access their choice of various cloud services (public, private and hybrid). In these scenarios, using a multi-cloud interconnection service, such as the API-enabled Equinix Cloud Exchange that supports virtual connections to a variety of cloud services, delivers unprecedented flexibility and agility.

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How far you go with the “Control the Network” scenario depends on your needs and your budget. However, if application performance depends on fast, secure connections, controlling the network is the best scenario.

Contact our GSA Team to learn more.

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