No single cloud environment is the perfect solution for every organization’s computing needs. As a result, IT departments have increasingly adopted multicloud (multiple public cloud services) and hybrid cloud (public and private cloud) architectures to support the various application and workload requirements.
According to the 2021 State of the Cloud report:
- 92% of enterprises have a multicloud strategy
- 82% have a hybrid cloud strategy
- respondents use 2.6 public and 2.7 private cloud resources on average.
“Multicloud and hybrid cloud architectures are the new normal because it’s important to put the right workload in the right environment,” explains Dominic Romeo, Director, Product Management at TierPoint.
The growth of the Public Cloud
The global public cloud services market is expected to grow to over $397 billion in 2022, according to research by Gartner. The largest market segment is Software as a Service (SaaS), estimated to surpass $145 billion by the end of 2022. Infrastructure and desktop services are also growing rapidly.
The growth mostly benefits leading cloud providers, which include Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, according to the Gartner Magic Quadrant Case Study. Amazon retains its position as the leading public cloud infrastructure company with the largest market share.
Because cloud providers have different strengths, customers may choose different ones to meet various requirements. Requirements like geographic range, storage options, disaster recovery, or capabilities related to the type of applications or data they have. A company may be drawn to IBM due to their machine learning and AI capabilities, and opt for AWS due to their database experience. It isn’t uncommon to pick providers for specific use cases.
Hybrid cloud connectivity is critical
Connectivity – the bandwidth, latency, and resilience of a connection – is an increasingly important consideration. As multicloud and hybrid infrastructures become more prevalent, having a reliable and fast connection between cloud providers is critical.
“It’s important to know your latency requirements and to put the right data on the right transport,” said Romeo. “If I have ten seconds of latency, I need to ask, ‘How will that affect the end user or the data processing?’”
You may want to think about factors like load balancing. Load balancing is how you’ll support traffic to endpoints that serve your users best and strike an ideal balance from one data center to another. You may also want to consider your cloud interconnect options.
In the initial stages of cloud migration, an organization may have only non-critical data in the cloud, with a VPN as the connection. However, a VPN offers no guarantee in terms of throughput, latency, or performance as it travels over the internet. Once a company moves production applications and data to the cloud, they typically upgrade to a dedicated connection.
“While Internet VPNs can work great, there are many situations when you want the guaranteed performance, latency, and bandwidth of a dedicated connection,” explains Romeo.
Cloud connectivity options
Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute
Cloud infrastructure providers generally offer a range of connectivity options, from VPNs to high-bandwidth private circuits, at metered or flat-fee pricing. For example, along with VPN services, Microsoft also offers the Azure ExpressRoute private circuits, which provide direct network connectivity between Azure data centers and on-premises or colocated systems.
ExpressRoute connections are available in bandwidths ranging from 50 Mbps to 10 Gbps. For more bandwidth, Microsoft’s ExpressRoute Direct is a physically separate line that connects a customer to a Microsoft peering location and can provide up to 100 Gbps.
Another trend in cloud connectivity is the “cloud exchange.” It’s a term for cloud computing and managed service providers that also connect multiple cloud platforms under one umbrella. We have also been expanding services in colocation, backup, security, disaster recovery, and management services.
In order for a customer to have access to a range of hybrid and multicloud options, all they need to do is connect to the exchange provider. The arrangement makes it more cost-effective and low risk for customers to experiment with different platforms for best results.
As organizations adopt multicloud environments and require interoperability between platforms, the exchange model of cloud connectivity may well become the norm.
Key considerations for cloud connectivity
When evaluating cloud connectivity in accordance with your needs, remember – the optimal path to the cloud isn’t necessarily the shortest one. When you’re evaluating hybrid cloud connectivity, ask yourself the following questions:
- How do I ensure the resiliency and redundancy of my connections?
- How much bandwidth will I need?
- What are the latency connection requirements of different systems?
- Do I need to purchase additional network gear?
- Do I have the right staff to support it?
- What service providers can offer high-performance hybrid connectivity?
Is your hybrid environment optimized for cloud connectivity?
Is your cloud connectivity aligned with your business goals? If not, we can help you evaluate the best connectivity options for your hybrid cloud environment. To learn more about multicloud and hybrid cloud connectivity, contact us today.