Cloud connectivity. Not a very exciting topic right? Maybe so, but with more and more companies moving their IT workloads to public cloud platforms and IT departments constantly being asked to provide a secure, high speed, reliable connection to these cloud platforms, getting your cloud connectivity option right is becoming more important than ever.
It used to be that your only option was to utilise an Internet connection and hope that there was enough bandwidth available to provide an adequate performance level. With the IT industry rapidly transforming, IT departments are being provided with choices and more importantly, the ability to guarantee performance.
The market has shifted and provides two distinct cloud connectivity options. You can use a telecommunications provider to supply a presence in an existing corporate WAN/MPLS environment to your cloud platform of choice, or you can use a 3rd party cloud exchange provider to supply on-demand, elastic cloud exchange connectivity to multiple cloud platforms. The end decision you make will be whatever works best for your particular scenario.
Here are a couple of questions which can help determine the cloud connectivity option that works best for you and why:
Q: Which public cloud am I connecting to?
Not all cloud connectivity providers are made equal. Whether it be through your telco or a cloud exchange provider, not all public cloud platforms are accessible for one reason or another. Microsoft Azure and AWS are generally easy to connect to, but if you’re looking to utilise IBM Softlayer, Google Cloud Platform, VMware vCloud Air or even something a bit more workload specific such as SAP HANA Cloud Platform, you’ll have to dig a bit deeper to see who has options available.
Q: I only want to trial it for a short amount of time to see if it actually works.
Your business case for a private cloud connection may only be a trial or a proof of concept to see how well it works for dev/test workloads. You need to decide whether you need to engage your telco to setup a new site on your WAN/MPLS or the cloud exchange provider option might be more palatable as the service can be procured on a month by month contract with no lock in.
Q: How easy is it to get connected to my public cloud platform?
The cloud connectivity options are markedly different when it comes to getting started. The telecommunications provider option can be straight forward. If your existing provider has a product available, eg you use Telstra for your WAN/MPLS, then you can utilise Telstra Cloud Gateway and configure your connection through that product portal. If you choose a cloud exchange provider such as Megaport or Equinix, then you need to ensure you meet their requirements such as being in a Megaport enabled data center or an Equinix facility to provide the physical connection to their cloud exchange.
Q: Do I really need a dedicated, private cloud connection?
No. Yes. Well, maybe. It depends.
At the end of the day, your need for a dedicated, private cloud connection is truly dependent on which challenge you are trying to overcome and what you are trying to achieve.
With cloud connectivity options changing so dynamically now and in the foreseeable future and more public clouds coming online and allowing connectivity, your ability to make the right decision will affect the overall success of your cloud strategy. Diaxion are experts at IT strategy and optimisation so if cloud connectivity is on your radar, we are able to assist you in your decision making.