Networking for Nerds

6 Elements That Make Up the Anatomy of Hybrid Multicloud Networks

The benefits of hybrid multicloud are clear, but capturing those benefits requires an effective networking strategy

Marek Moszynski
6 Elements That Make Up the Anatomy of Hybrid Multicloud Networks

Hybrid multicloud has emerged as one of the key factors driving digital transformation today. The benefits of pairing multiple public clouds with cloud-adjacent on-premises data centers are now widely recognized. Selecting the ideal environment for each app or workload can help maximize the performance, flexibility, security and cost-efficiency of your entire IT architecture. Regardless of the exact criteria you’re trying to meet or the cloud providers you work with to meet them, the fact remains that ensuring effective network connectivity is essential to a successful hybrid multicloud strategy.

For this reason, it’s no surprise IDC predicts the multicloud networking market will expand 75% CAGR between 2022 and 2026, adding:

“IDC has observed that organizations that attempt to extend and use traditional network architectures and routing infrastructure, as well as traditional transports and operational models, often fail to meet their multicloud objectives.”[1]

In any hybrid cloud environment, enterprises need a “pipe” connecting their cloud infrastructure on one side with their on-premises data center on the other side. This simple point-to-point connection helps ensure low latency, high performance, stability and availability across both sides of the architecture. This concept may seem simple enough, but when you begin integrating a multicloud environment, including multiple public clouds for different cloud services and private clouds for workloads with special security and data privacy needs, things may start to get complicated very quickly. This blog will take a deep dive into six networking elements you must consider in order to ensure a successful hybrid multicloud strategy.

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Ensure geographic availability of public cloud on-ramps

These days, we tend to think public cloud platforms are everywhere, rather than being tied to a specific geographic location. However, public cloud services are accessed through cloud on-ramps that do in fact reside somewhere in the physical world. No matter which public cloud provider you choose, you’ll need to make sure a cloud on-ramp for that provider is available nearby, or risk creating additional latency and complexity across your hybrid multicloud environment.

Equinix Fabric™ allows organizations to interconnect with the public cloud provider of their choice, anywhere across our global network. With Equinix Fabric nodes available in more than 50 metros worldwide, you can feel confident you’ll be able to find one in proximity to your on-premises infrastructure. From that node, you can take advantage of software-defined interconnection on a global scale, allowing you to access the cloud on-ramps you need, wherever they may be. As a result, you’ll be able to select the public cloud providers that best meet the needs of your specific workloads, without having to limit yourself based on geographic availability.

Build redundant connections to ensure availability of cloud services

The goal of any hybrid multicloud strategy should be to build a system that functions as a coherent whole; essentially, you don’t want to see the “seams” holding the different components of your hybrid infrastructure together. This is only possible when all those components function as intended, with high availability supported by built-in redundancy.

Equinix Fabric provides the flexibility needed to design high-availability infrastructure without incurring unnecessary costs. Enterprises can achieve this by deploying single-path connections for testing and other non-critical workloads, and only deploying dual-path connections for the critical production workloads that require maximum uptime to support business continuity.

Track network performance metrics to evaluate hybrid multicloud success

If you work with a partner to support your hybrid multicloud networking needs, you need to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. You can do this by tracking various network performance metrics that can help determine whether your hybrid multicloud strategy has been successful.

The Equinix approach to hybrid multicloud networking ensures you’ll never have to wonder if your key network performance metrics are being met. Virtual connections established via Equinix Fabric are Layer 2 links that offer guaranteed bandwidth. In addition, Equinix offers service-level agreements for things like latency, jitter and packet loss. In short, everything about our service is designed to ensure you know where you stand at all times, and that the investments you’ve made are actually contributing to better hybrid multicloud results.

Maximize agility with true on-demand networking

The hybrid multicloud architecture that best meets the needs of your business today may no longer be right for you a few months from now. That’s why it’s absolutely essential that your networking can change quickly as the needs of your business change.

The Equinix Fabric web dashboard allows virtual connections to be added, removed or resized with a few simple clicks (when supported by the cloud provider). Also, our billing cycles only last 24 hours, so there’s no long-term commitment involved. You’ll never be stuck paying for cloud connectivity that you no longer need.

Automate key processes to further optimize resilience and flexibility

To be successful with hybrid multicloud networking, you must balance control against efficiency. That is, you should be able to take a hands-on approach to managing your network when it makes sense to do so, while also applying automation for other use cases that don’t require your personal attention.

With Equinix Fabric, you can use the self-service web portal for any processes that need to be performed manually, while also deploying APIs to automate other processes. APIs can speed the deployment of new network infrastructure, while also redeploying infrastructure quickly and consistently in the aftermath of an outage. Equinix Fabric can be paired with Terraform, a cloud-agnostic infrastructure-as-code engine, to provide repeatable deployment of cloud connections with no risk of vendor lock-in.

Deploy VNFs to save time and resources

Continuing to rely exclusively on physical hardware to support hybrid multicloud networking can lead to higher costs, longer deployment times, and lower network agility. This is particularly true in our post-pandemic world, where the chip shortage and other supply chain breakdowns mean that companies are routinely waiting 6 months or longer to procure new hardware devices.

Fortunately, there is a better way: Equinix Fabric provides integrated support for Network Edge virtual network functions (VNFs). With Network Edge services, you can get routers, firewalls, VPNs, SD-WAN gateways and more from top providers, when and where you need them. These VNFs can be set up in a matter of minutes, anywhere across the Equinix Fabric global footprint.

Equinix Fabric unlocks the power of hybrid multicloud networking on a global scale

As the world’s digital infrastructure company™, Equinix is uniquely positioned to help organizations of all sizes meet their needs around hybrid multicloud networking. Whether it’s accessing the right cloud on-ramps in the right places, ensuring high availability, or maximizing flexibility, Equinix Fabric gives businesses everything they need to create an effective hybrid multicloud architecture that’s more than the sum of its parts.

To learn more about how Equinix Fabric can help power your hybrid multicloud success, read the data sheet today.


[1] IDC, “Worldwide Multicloud Networking Forecast, 2022-2026”. March 2022, Doc #US48940022.


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