451 Research Reports on Data Center Networking Transformation that Leverages the Cloud

cloud-leap-680pxApplications and data are being used and accessed via new services, including the cloud, putting more stress on current network infrastructures from both performance and security perspectives. In this new report, “Meet Me, Meet Me Not,” 451 Research demonstrates how the fundamentals of interconnection services are transforming to support new networking strategies for today’s consumers of cloud services.

The report’s title refers to trends that are requiring enterprises to move applications and data out of the centralized data center, closer to where they need to “meet” users and data pools. This is forcing businesses to rethink their enterprise interconnection architectures. According to 451 Research, “In terms of enterprise network architecture, new data services and new application architectures that are interconnected at convenient, secure and geographically strategic facilities will become the norm.”

The report’s findings show how critical it is for enterprise interconnection strategies to align with cloud computing strategies. This includes embracing a cloud service creation model that dynamically matches and places workloads at the best “execution venue” for the job, based on cost, performance, security, legal and other requirements.

To describe how this vision can be implemented, 451 Research presents a reference architecture of enterprise IT components that is divided into functional stacks, including “systems of engagement” (applications, social business layer, etc.), “systems of execution” (cloud access management, analytics, etc.) and “systems of record” (data bases, services repositories, etc.). The report points out how today’s enterprises are gradually distributing these different system layers into third-party data center providers, such as Equinix.

The report reveals how findings from 451 Research’s “Voice of the Enterprise” survey of 12,500 IT professionals illustrate how demand from remote offices and mobile users to access cloud resources is “driving the need for a different network architecture that doesn’t require hair-pinning traffic through the enterprise data center.”

451 Research highlights how the survey showed that the adoption of hybrid cloud models (on and off-premise) is gradually shifting from on-premise application hosting on the cloud to off-premise application hosting using a third-party data center facilities. More than 59% of the respondents said they access 20% of their applications from off-premise clouds, and 22% said they are running 40% of their applications in off-premise clouds.

The report stresses how enterprise public and hybrid cloud migration is impacting enterprise connectivity. It also underscores performance and security concerns related to network issues. With these things in mind, 451 Research identifies some key trends for enterprises to keep an eye on, including:

  • Network and Web application security
  • Direct cloud connectivity
  • Software-defined networking and wide area networking virtualization
  • Cloud exchanges for connecting to multiple cloud providers
  • Internet exchanges and remote peering
  • Growing amounts of data at the “edge” of the Internet

These trends require a greater enterprise focus on connectivity to the data center and the cloud.

In addition to the rich findings from its research and surveys, the 451 Research report features three business case studies that explore different enterprise buying strategies. Based on in-depth interviews with IT managers across manufacturing, financial services and freight industries, the report follows each business’ journey to hybrid and multi-cloud adoption through their interconnection and on-premise and off-premise data center strategies. The report then concludes by offering a near-term cloud connectivity strategy and providing questions enterprises should ask their data center and networking vendors.

To read the 451 Research report in its entirety, go to “Meet Me, Meet Me Not.”

Also, check out the 451 Research report, “Interconnection 101.”