How Interconnection is Powering the Third Wave of Cloud Adoption

4 geo-resilient scenarios for protecting mission-critical workloads and data

Guido Coenders
Tobias Schaub

Digital transformation is moving businesses to adopt public clouds for their applications and IT services. With this decision, IT organizations are realizing higher demands for fast and secure interconnectivity to public clouds for mission-critical applications and business continuity services. With a progression of many companies into the third wave of cloud adoption, they are facing an increased need for dependable and private interconnection with their cloud service partners.

Wave 1: In the first wave of cloud adoption, traditional businesses were consuming compute and storage services for application development and testing, which did not require a lot of performance or security connecting to the cloud. Many of these workloads were deemed less critical, in addition to being more fast-moving/less static – a new project today could be gone tomorrow. Many businesses did not want to invest too heavily in the architecture of some of these short-lived projects, where private interconnection was less of a concern or ignored in the desire to not lose any velocity. As a result, many of the connections for these projects were typically done over the public internet and the “best effort” performance and security was tolerated.

Wave 2: The second wave of cloud adoption saw businesses leveraging SaaS and latency-sensitive applications to the cloud (e.g., database backup and recovery, transaction processing) that required direct and secure, interconnection at low latency. These applications were less tolerant of the performance and security uncertainty of the public internet and, as a result, the demand for private interconnection increased from businesses across industries. In addition, the “best availability” for applications and data was possible and companies began to leverage geo-redundant facilities.

Wave 3: Today’s “non-stop” business operations need full resiliency. As a result, the third wave of cloud adoption requires private interconnection to the cloud to protect mission-critical workloads and data, such as those from financial services, healthcare and other industry applications. In these cases, a secondary backup site needs to deliver the same performance as its primary and failover must be totally seamless. In addition, doing business in different regions around the world is proving to have its own set of unique political challenges with the geo-distribution of applications and data availability. Under strict data residency mandates, it is not always easy to deploy applications and data in geo-redundant locations within the same country without introducing added complexity in a multi-vendor setup at several layers. Especially in smaller political environments (i.e., Singapore or even some European countries). Achieving full geo-redundancy under adherence to data residency rules can pose a challenge, whereas in other markets like the United States (U.S.) or Australia, this could be achieved more easily. The development around improved geographic capabilities is largely due to cloud service providers (CSPs) architecting the access to their services in a way that provides the essential building blocks necessary for geo-resiliency.

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Equinix Fabric

Delivering greater resiliency via a private, software-defined interconnection fabric

With a wide deployment in metros (50+ locations) around the world and global cloud-on-ramps to leading cloud and SaaS providers, Equinix Fabric™ has served customers on Platform Equinix® with designs and implementations of geo-redundant cloud access. Over the last year, we have further improved on this, working together with a number of CSPs in specific markets to offer geo-redundant access at a country or metro level. This can be important to local, national or even regional deployments of a public cloud service.

The following Equinix Fabric geo-resiliency use cases illustrate how you can protect your mission-critical cloud applications and data within and between geographies.

The more traditional approach to geo-resilient cloud access is interconnecting two different metros using Equinix Fabric in each one. We have been able to implement this architecture since the inception of Equinix Fabric (Equinix Cloud Exchange at the time) in 2014. Within each metro, Equinix Fabric offers a dual-port model for the additional protection of physically redundant network connections.

This scenario provides optimal in-country resiliency, using different metros. Similar to the previous scenario, you can aggregate cloud connectivity via Equinix Fabric to save on network costs and ensure direct and secure connectivity between your primary and secondary availability zones. Equinix Fabric has enabled this capability from day one in the U.S. Since then, several countries have been added that provide the same concept and others are being developed.

In some metros and for specific service providers, Equinix Fabric allows customers to connect via two geo-redundant cloud-on-ramps within the same metro. Geo-redundant access within a metro can provide the resiliency that most applications and data require. This model was added in a number of metros because of clear customer demand ꟷ London, Amsterdam, Singapore are enabled today ꟷ with others to follow.

This scenario can be a viable alternative to the first three. Like the previous ones, it provides excellent geo-resiliency but with the feature of the secondary site being a virtual deployment, rather than a physical one. Instead of adding a hardware network appliance in the secondary site, you can leverage Network Edge services to implement one or two virtual network devices, such as a router or SD-WAN gateway, from leading network functions virtualization (NFV) infrastructure vendors in just minutes.

Resilient cloud adoption on a single global platform

These four geo-redundant scenarios protect workloads and data in the cloud using private software-defined and NFV interconnection, all on a single, resilient global platform with a 99.9999% uptime average. You can learn more about increasing your digital infrastructure performance, security and resiliency by reading the Equinix Fabric data sheet.

You can also contact your local Global Solutions Architect to schedule a Digital Edge Strategy Briefing.

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Guido Coenders Director, Global Solution Architecture
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Tobias Schaub Principal Solution Marketing Manager
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