Network Outsourcing in the Cloud Era
Whether it’s switching to a new network service provider or outsourcing critical connectivity requirements in new markets, businesses need to know what the gaps they are trying to fill. Most importantly, how the service provider can support the business needs in the long term.
The Cloud is Placing Pressure on the Network
Business technology changes constantly and having a network service provider who can pivot with new advances is critical. A significant move we have seen in recent years is the growing number of businesses moving their IT workloads into public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. This places greater pressure on the network to deliver high quality connectivity for cloud-based services and applications.
The future of enterprise operations lives in the cloud.
For those who have seen success in their cloud deployments, they are now moving into multiple public clouds for specific application performance benefits. According to the Cisco Global Cloud Index, 94% of all workloads will run in the Cloud by 2021. A multi-cloud approach prepares a business for changes before it experiences those changes, enabling them to stay ahead of the competition.
However, businesses must consider the challenges associated with connecting to multiple cloud service providers (CSP) and the various ways to interconnect the cloud. With security as a top priority, connection to the CSP via public internet doesn’t cut it. This means businesses are going for internet-bypass options like direct or private connection. Even if an enterprise is not ready for a multi-cloud strategy, selecting a network service provider who is able to deliver reliable, high-performance connectivity to the cloud is going to make a difference.
What goes under the Hood?
Looking at the options today, there are plenty of telcos and network service providers offering direct access to public clouds. What are their true differentiators and why choose a service provider over the others?
With mission-critical applications and data moving between data centres and public clouds, businesses would want their workloads to travel over a robust private network backbone. However, not all service providers today are able to guarantee carrier-grade reliability, availability and security. A carrier-grade global network enhances the quality of service (QoS) of the cloud connection and offers a diverse set of connectivity options.
Software-defined networking (SDN) technology has changed the way businesses consume connectivity services. The network has become more intelligent and programmable, giving enterprise IT more control over the way they interconnect. With an SDN platform, they can scale connectivity services globally as and when needed. Businesses should not be restricted by rigid terms and limited bandwidth options.
When it comes to cloud connectivity, time is of the essence. Being able to turn up multiple connections to the public clouds in a couple of minutes is a huge advantage for cloud-centric businesses. SDN enables network automation which dramatically reduces the amount of time needed to provision direct connections to the CSPs. Additionally, an SDN platform should offer network management controls with full visibility over the network performance between the data centre and the public cloud.
Application Programming Interface (API) is a significant component in SDN. It gives users cross-platform access to the service provider’s solutions, allowing them to consume the services seamlessly on their own platform. Essentially, they can thread connectivity services with their applications in a fully orchestrated manner. This means new services are constantly made available to them as the SDN platform grows.
Whether you’re a managed service provider, a large enterprise or even a web-based business, it is important to think of a network service provider as a partnership and not just a vendor. Businesses should work with connectivity providers who are enablers of innovation and their growth partners.
Get in touch with us to learn more how a global connectivity provider like Epsilon can accelerate your business growth.