Rethinking Your Network Architecture for Cloud Deployments

Modernize your network to solve for three common hybrid multicloud scenarios

Andy Pegg
Ted Kawka
Rethinking Your Network Architecture for Cloud Deployments

It’s impossible to talk about the future of enterprise IT without mentioning the growing importance of cloud services. The 2022 Equinix Global Tech Trends Survey (GTTS) found that 71% of global IT leaders plan to move more functions to the cloud in the next 12 months. In addition, the cloud deployment models those IT leaders are choosing are growing more complex: The GTTS found that 38% of IT leaders are deploying via hybrid cloud, making it the most common deployment model. In addition, about 79% said they currently work with two or more cloud providers.

This ongoing shift to hybrid multicloud offers greater agility, cost-efficiency benefits and access to new capabilities on demand. However, it also creates new complexities around deploying and managing network architecture. Like it or not, adopting hybrid multicloud means giving up a level of control over the underlying technology your business depends on. How do you ensure a great customer experience in spite of that? Perhaps more importantly, how do you make your cloud-centric infrastructure repeatable, so it can provide the same great experience for customers around the world?

In short, you need distributed, interconnected digital infrastructure in all the right locations to help support the hybrid multicloud model. In this blog, we’ll look at three common hybrid multicloud scenarios, and what network architecture considerations are unique to each.

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Migrating from on-premises to cloud

For many enterprises, one of the most challenging aspects of taking advantage of the cloud is getting to the cloud in the first place. With the exception of born-in-the-cloud startups, all companies have legacy on-premises infrastructure with very specific networking and security requirements. Trying to “lift and shift” that infrastructure to the cloud without breaking things in the process is typically easier said than done. Inevitably, IT leaders will find certain workloads and applications that just can’t be moved to the cloud—and others where there’s a good business reason not to move them.

One way our customers have tried to simplify cloud migration is with a cloud-adjacent architecture. Deploying certain workloads close to the cloud—but not in the cloud—may help them capitalize on all the performance and flexibility benefits of hybrid multicloud without falling victim to drawbacks such as greater complexity and higher costs driven by data egress fees.

Many cloud providers deploy close to our Equinix IBX® data centers in order to take advantage of our dense ecosystem of network service providers. For this reason, placing applications and data in Equinix data centers may be as close as you can possibly get to the cloud without being inside it. That provides performance benefits, while also helping you get closer to your ecosystem partners.

Equinix customers can take a phased migration approach based on cloud adjacency

You’ve also got options when it comes to connecting to the cloud. Some SaaS applications are designed to work well over the internet. However, other workloads require the level of performance and reliability that only a direct, private interconnection solution like Equinix Fabric® can provide.

Reducing complexity around hybrid multicloud networking

Many businesses start their journey to cloud with a single provider, but inevitably realize they need multiple clouds to give them access to best-of-breed functionalities on demand. In some cases, separate business units within the same company may even be using different clouds unbeknownst to each other, with no centralized direction from the IT department.

This arrangement can lead to increased complexity and costs, with the organization having to duplicate security capabilities across multiple cloud providers. The best way to avoid this is by positioning the security stack in a neutral location that’s adjacent to cloud on-ramps. Once again, Platform Equinix® is well-positioned to be that location.

Equinix provides centralized control to simplify multicloud connectivity

Furthermore, storing aggregated data sets in a centralized location—which we call an authoritative data core—is instrumental to getting the most from your hybrid multicloud environment. It allows you to move certain data sets into different clouds as needed to support certain workloads, without that data having to be stored permanently in the cloud. This helps prevent vendor lock-in and reduce the impact of data egress fees.

Ensuring resiliency of cloud services

Once your hybrid multicloud architecture is delivering good results, you need to consider how to keep those good results coming. This could mean using the same cloud region via multiple on-ramps, thus enabling geographic redundancy. It could also mean building across multiple cloud regions to ensure the best user experience in multiple locations. Either way, digital infrastructure built on Platform Equinix offers a modular architecture that supports easy replication across clouds and locations.

The diagram below provides an example of what this might look like. The customer in the example will have access to a dense ecosystem of network service providers in both London and Manchester, and Network Edge for virtual network functions such as virtual firewalls from Fortinet. They’ll be able to deploy the same architecture in each location, and then use Equinix Fabric to connect to the clouds of their choice. In this case, they’re deploying both for geographic redundancy—reaching clouds from multiple on-ramp locations—and for redundancy across providers.

Deploying for cloud redundancy on Platform Equinix

Customers can also take advantage of native APIs and support for Terraform. This allows them to store known good network architectures as code; those architectures can then be deployed quickly in new locations or redeployed in existing locations for disaster recovery purposes.

Address your cloud networking challenges today

With 240+ Equinix IBX data centers spread across 70+ metros worldwide—many of them home to cloud on-ramps from top providers—Platform Equinix is uniquely positioned to help you address a variety of hybrid multicloud networking challenges. In addition, our portfolio of digital services, including Equinix Fabric for software-defined interconnection and Network Edge for virtual network functions, can help you increase speed and flexibility across your network architecture.

Visit Equinix Deploy to learn how you can get started with on-demand virtual interconnection for your hybrid multicloud networking needs.


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Andy Pegg Principal Solutions Architect
Ted Kawka Global Principal
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