How Important is Connectivity to Hybrid Cloud Environments?
Posted on November 07, 2014 by Adam Burnham
By Paul Diamond
I’ve written many a piece about how 'hybrid' is the correct approach when it comes to cloud adoption – it is extremely accommodating to many business models and resources. If a company can supplement a hosted (or in-house) environment with additional cloud resources, they can be flexible, agile and successful in the face of the continuously moving requirements of IT. Further, rather than having to estimate the hosted or in-house capacity needed for the peaks and valleys of a business’ demand, they can simply leverage on-demand compute resources in the cloud.
Market analyst firm Gartner believes nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017. It makes sense too – with hybrid, you can scale based on your business, keep costs low, are flexible to use the services you want, similar to public cloud options, but also can put in place protections that the private cloud affords users.
However, we have to be careful to make a blanket statement that any hybrid environment is a smart one. In fact, if a company is not smart in choosing amongst the hybrid infrastructure options out there, there are still many considerations that can prevent it from that perfect scenario for your business: up-time, security, availability and more.
For one, many businesses fail to consider the importance of how the data travels between homes – on premise or hosted, and in and out of the cloud. If it is patchy or unreliable, how is that a viable business solution?
In your personal life, it’s perfectly acceptable to use public internet connections to connect to your SaaS applications, but when it comes to your most important data, it’s so critical to consider professional and robust connectivity that matches your high-performance needs.
Don’t even get me started on security. You can protect your data onsite or hosted and within the cloud until the cows come home, but as soon as it transfers online, your data is immediately at risk. That is, unless you put flexible and secure connectivity practices in place.
One consideration is having a dedicated connection from your hosted data center into the cloud. This is achievable by making sure your network provider supports your cloud provider and vice versa, so you can employ that direct connection, or our favorite option, opting for a partnership with a more all-in-one service provider.
For instance, when considering a hosted data center, be sure to weigh the availability of hybrid cloud options in your decision making process. Flexible connectivity can truly be a game changer in the way that your hosted data interacts and moves into and out of the cloud. Data centers play the lead role in bringing in a high number of network carriers to interconnect and provide the robust connectivity that is stable, highly reliable and fully redundant. If your data center is a carrier hotel, you and your data only get to reap the benefits of this link in the ecosystem.
Your business now has the local connections that businesses dream of, with the ability for global connectivity at a cost that is much more reasonable than setting it up for yourself.
So, how important is flexible connectivity to your infrastructure as a service? If your hosted data center is a carrier hotel, your hybrid compute resources will see the direct benefits: freedom of choice regarding provider, improved latency, cloud balancing and cloud bursting for unpredictable traffic demands, less packet loss, and more.
The cloud options are endless, and there are certainly good decisions to be made, but you must have a good understanding of your business requirements and goals, and how cloud COULD impact them. This will only help inform how important connectivity is to your data center to cloud networks. If it is a big requirement, make sure your hosted data center provides you with cloud compute and the carrier network to support it.