There’s no doubt that cloud is now mainstream and a chief conduit of the rapidly emerging digital economy. Cloud computing, with its ability to scale infrastructure on demand in an OPEX model, has empowered enterprises of all sizes to collaborate in real-time, innovate new offerings and capture value more quickly than ever before. In fact, 70% of all cloud services in use today are enterprise services according to McAfee. Most enterprises have adopted a hybrid multicloud infrastructure as some workloads move to the public cloud, some remain on-premise and some are deployed in private clouds. And not just with one vendor – in a recent Gartner survey of public cloud users, 81% said they are working with two or more providers.[ii]
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Organizations surveyed by McAfee report using 21 or more cloud services.
Enterprise cloud migration challenges
As enterprises accelerate their journey to the cloud, worries about cloud complexity, security threats and vendor lock-in are growing as well. Sixty percent of organizations surveyed by McAfee report using 21 or more cloud services, and 1 in 4 have experienced data theft from public cloud services.[iii] Key worries for IT leaders include:
- Legacy applications are often not cloud-friendly and present integration/migration challenges.
- The performance, latency and security challenges inherent in the public internet.
- Multi-cloud complexity with different services, APIs and management methods/portals.
- Ensuring regulatory and data privacy compliance across all environments and for data in transit.
Key elements for overcoming the challenges
While there are different approaches to deploying and managing hybrid multicloud infrastructures, there are a few key elements to success. These include:
Direct and secure connectivity: Enterprises deploying applications in hybrid multicloud environments need direct, secure connectivity between these environments to ensure optimal application performance and data protection. Several options are available including Platform Equinix® with Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™). ECX Fabric enables multiple 10G connections between public cloud providers around the world, making it easy for enterprises to securely shift workloads between clouds faster and with less cost. As Google’s leading interconnection partner, connecting more enterprise workloads to Google Cloud than any other provider, Equinix provides direct connections to Google Cloud in 37 metros through Google Cloud Interconnect (GCI) and ECX Fabric, including ten low latency locations. Enterprises can also collocate equipment for hybrid multicloud workloads less than 2 milliseconds from the nearest Google Cloud.
Consistent application environment management: Ideally enterprise applications should be deployed from the same development environment across cloud providers and on-premises for the sake of simplicity and ease of management. For this to be the case with hybrid multicloud infrastructures, it’s important to have an operational model and relevant tools in place to help simplify deployment and ensure consistency. This is why open source technologies, such as those pioneered by Google (e.g., Kubernetes, Istio and Knative), have become standards in deploying applications across hybrid multicloud infrastructures. Several cloud platforms leverage Kubernetes, including Google Cloud Anthos, Amazon EKS and Microsoft AKS, which makes it easier to develop and manage applications across different cloud platforms. Google Cloud Anthos enables enterprises to build and manage Kubernetes-based applications, without modification, whether they are on existing on-premises data centers, Google Cloud or other clouds such as AWS or Microsoft Azure.[iv]
As shown in the diagram below, leveraging Kubernetes as a common deployment platform on Platform Equinix enables consistent application development across multiple cloud providers and on-premises data centers.
Cloud migration made easy with Equinix and Google
Keeping these key elements in mind, there are multiple cloud migration scenarios. In addition to a straightforward lift-and-shift, there are other hybrid multicloud migration scenarios, such as cloud-based high availability and disaster recovery, SAP transformation and cloud analytics, etc. In the webinar below, we demonstrate two of these use cases leveraging ECX Fabric and Google Cloud Anthos:
- Cloud-based High Availability and Disaster Recovery
When enterprises already have invested in on-premise solutions, cloud platforms like Google Cloud can serve as an option for implementing high availability and disaster recovery (HA/DR). A cloud-based HA/DR requires no change to the existing deployment, nor additional infrastructure to enable high availability and disaster recovery features. It is agile, cost-effective and future proof, and can open up opportunities to leverage technologies and services that are available only in cloud computing, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. For example, an enterprise application such as the Equinix Developer Platform, shown in the demo, is originally deployed in on-premises data center. With Google Cloud Anthos, it becomes very easy to deploy cloud-based active failover or disaster recovery instances into Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) cloud clusters by simply connecting through ECX Fabric. Enterprises will now be able to leverage the cloud to attain business continuity without heavy upfront investment.
- Hybrid deployment between cloud and on-premises
In some cases, parts of an enterprise application cannot be migrated to the cloud because of a data governance requirement or internal dependency on legacy IT infrastructures. It could also be part of an incremental migration strategy or a data collection process for an internet of things (IoT) application that must remain on-premises. In this scenario, the front-end application of the example application, Equinix Developer Platform, has been deployed into a GKE cloud cluster, while the back-end database stays on-premises in an Anthos GKE on-premises cluster. The GKE cloud cluster and GKE on-premises cluster are connected through a secure and private partner interconnect via ECX Fabric. This example demonstrates that partial migration is feasible with secure and private partner interconnection.
To learn more about how you can achieve a successful enterprise cloud migration with Equinix and Google, watch the webinar below and register for a free trial of Google Cloud via ECX Fabric.