Blogposts

Cloud Connectivity: Adding Automation to the Equation

 

Automation is the foundation for a new networking model. Without automated processes, the network becomes a barrier to success in the cloud.

Provisioning Ethernet services locally and globally to support the cloud rely on new levels of agility in the network. All of the benefits the cloud can offer an organisation are limited by their ability to simply connect and scale their network services. The answer is automating backend processes and enabling service providers and enterprises to self-serve via an online portal.

Automation is a critical next step in the networking model that changes what is possible in the cloud. This is most evident in local access networks where automation simplifies and accelerates how service providers and enterprises manage complex connectivity challenges.

Connecting multiple enterprise locations and data centres globally can be extremely time consuming and resource intensive. The lag between needing connectivity can be painfully long.

Automation removes the multiple steps to the process and enables Ethernet to be provisioned globally not in days or hours but instantly. Cloud connectivity platforms with automated backend processes simplify connecting cloud services to a ‘click-to-connect’ model. There are no barriers and there is no friction between the user and the multiple services they want to access.

Amazon Web Services has done this effectively in the cloud computing market where anyone with a credit card can access its computing platform. Before the development of cloud connectivity platforms, networking couldn’t match this streamlined model.

The traditional approach to networking relies on manual procurement processes that limit how service providers and enterprises can use networking in their operations. The model is reliant on direct relationships with network operators and often require in-person or email-based interactions. From pricing through to actually signing a contract can take weeks and this may be for a single location or metro area.

After the contract is signed, the network service may not be available for days or even weeks. This makes the total process from start to finish last a month or more. When connecting cloud services these time lags are unacceptable and actually lead to lost opportunities and the inability to really benefit from the agility that cloud services deliver.

At the same time, when changing or adjusting service a similar manual process has to take place. This directly contradicts the flexibility and scalability that is inherent in cloud.

Automation is the answer to connecting the cloud and being able to unlock its potential. It is reducing the number of steps that are required for service providers and enterprises to get the services they want. Automation is transforming networking and cloud-enable businesses are seeing the direct benefits.