How Do You Use Interconnection to Simplify Multiple Cloud Access?

Steve Madden

In the previous blog in our series on the pressing questions enterprises have about colocation and interconnection, we explored the creation of hybrid/multicloud infrastructures. In this blog, we’ll delve into how to leverage interconnection to simplify multicloud connectivity and operations.

According to the annual Global Interconnection Index Volume 2, a market study published by Equinix that analyzes private traffic exchange globally, the fastest-growing interconnection use case among enterprises is connecting to cloud and IT providers, at a 98% CAGR between 2017 – 2021. And, with more than 80% of enterprises deploying multicloud infrastructures, businesses are finding that using legacy, centralized IT infrastructures to integrate and control multiple clouds is not making the grade.[i]

Individually connecting multiple clouds over traditional wide area networking (WAN) infrastructures is operationally complex and costly, resulting in unreliable cross-cloud application interaction and performance, as well as poor scalability, visibility and control. Also, managing increasing data volumes from the cloud can’t be solved by public internet offloading, since doing so increases latency and risk.

To address these issues, we agree with Gartner’s recommendation to “Consider cloud and edge computing as complementary rather than competing concepts,” from its report, “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018.”[ii] Start by using direct, secure, low-latency interconnection to localize, segment and integrate cloud traffic flows at the edge. You can do this via traffic exchange and control points strategically placed on a vendor-neutral IT platform adjacent to clouds, networks, users, data and things.

Success as a digital business requires integrating and controlling multiple, cloud-based services (or workloads), orchestrated across a multitude of applications. Firms can accomplish this by leveraging an Interconnection Oriented Architecture® (IOA®), where clouds are interconnected and managed at secure, distributed traffic exchange and control points on Platform Equinix®. A solution based on software-defined networking (SDN) and hybrid/multicloud interconnection, such as Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric), enables one-to-many virtual connections to clouds via a single physical link. This solution reduces setup time and encourages competitive pricing through multi-vendor choice.

Segmenting and controlling cloud traffic at the edge reduces enterprise backbone congestion and cloud ingress and egress costs. It allows you to cost-effectively leverage multicloud capabilities for applications such as business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) based on need. Finally, the ECX Fabric on Platform Equinix® provides secure access to cloud platforms in remote locations where partners, customers or data may reside.

You can successfully use interconnection to simplify multicloud access connectivity and operations by following these steps in the IOA Hybrid Multicloud Blueprint:

  1. Place traffic exchange points strategically at the edge near dense populations of users to localize and optimize traffic and segment traffic flows at traffic exchange and control points strategically placed at the edge, near a high density of users.
  2. Then, beginning with the first step in the IOA Hybrid Multicloud Blueprint, select application workloads to migrate to the cloud, and assess traffic bandwidth demands. Aggregate and segment network interconnections into each chosen public/private cloud, using SDN as needed.
  3. Migrate applications to target clouds, and establish an API registry. Employ container
    management to manage application migration lifecycles.
  4. Install and connect data caches at edge traffic exchange and control points to facilitate rapid cross-cloud interactions.
  5. Employ policy-based service acquisition-including cloud resource monitoring and dynamic resource allocation-leveraging digital services ecosystems.
  6. Access cross-regional business ecosystems to identify and employ optimal partner services across clouds.
  7. Integrate a vendor-neutral, SaaS-based, secure key management and cryptography service (such as Equinix SmartKey™) to simplify data protection across multiple cloud platforms.

The benefits of using interconnection to integrate and control hybrid multicloud environments include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Secure and segment cloud traffic for greater optimization with high-bandwidth, low- latency virtualized connections that also simplify multicloud connectivity and reduce provisioning time from weeks to hours.
  • Improve cross-cloud control and visibility by leveraging partner ecosystems’ monitoring tools.
  • Harness the flexibility to choose from a selection of cloud and network providers at the edge to reduce cost and enable new, usage-based capabilities for applications such as BC and DR.
  • Consistently enhance the user quality of experience based on local needs.
  • Deploy business strategy, operations and execution in real-time via new partner ecosystems and counterparties, enabling new global business models and expanding digital business reach.

To learn more about successfully deploying hybrid/multicloud infrastructures, check out our IOA Knowledge Base.

You also should check out the earlier blogs in this series:

How Does Deploying Colocation Hubs Optimize Network Performance?

How Should Colocation Fit into Your Data Center Strategy?

[i] RightScale, “2018 State of the Cloud Report.”

[ii] Gartner Report, “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018: Cloud to the Edge,” David W. Cearley, Bob Gill, Mike J. Walker, Thomas J. Bittman, Brian Burke, March 8, 2018 – ID G00346816.