Benefits of direct connect to the cloud
Enterprises will prefer to bypass the Internet to connect to their future cloud environments. Using direct connect options like leased lines or services like Amazon Direct Connect provide a number of key benefits.
- Speed: Direct connections use leased line technology, a very stable, long established method of point-to-point connectivity that comes with little risk. IP based options mean that speeds have moved from 2-32Mbps to as much as 1Gbps. Some European cities are already supporting connectivity of 10Gbps. With direct connections now as fast as data centre backbones it is no longer the weak link in any cloud deployment.
- Multiple carriers: The risk of an outage, even with direct connection is a very real risk factor. Provisioning direct connections from multiple carriers not only mitigates risk but can also aid with speed by allowing the connections to be bonded or used for load balancing.
- Service Level Agreements: Direct connections have a very high SLA which can range from 99.5% to 99.99%. This equates to a downtime of between 216 minutes and 4.32 minutes per month. This compares favourably with network resilience inside most private data centres where the SLA is often 99.5% rather than 99.99%.
- High volume data transfer: A direct connection enables customers to move high volumes of data to and from the cloud. A key advantage of this comes when either synchronising or backing up to the cloud. With a high speed connection up to 10Gbps, it is possible to take snapshots of servers and data and move them to the cloud for disaster recovery and resilience.
As cloud vendors move into areas such as High Performance Computing as a Service (HPCaaS), a direct connection means that the vast data sets for tasks such as computational fluid dynamics, life science modelling and medical imaging can be moved without the problem of latency that occurs with lower speed circuits.
- Enhanced network performance: High bandwidth, low latency connectivity enables customers to treat clouds as part of the data centre for more frequent migration/replication of data, allowing for more homogenous business continuity/disaster recovery policies, and retention strategies.
- No contention: Private connectivity does not have problems with contention at busy times. This means that all the bandwidth is available rather than the service provider throttling the connection when many customers are using the circuit.
- Elastic / Bursting: Directly connected clouds make it easy to scale a connection to meet customer needs. With up to 10Gbps connections, customers can easily provision multiple connections to increase capacity as needed. With connections being predominantly fibre optic, additional capacity to increase bandwidth can be added with relative ease.
- Security: A direct connection between clouds increases security through the use of highly encrypted data links.
- Pay as-you-go pricing: Some network and cloud providers are now increasing flexibility for directly connected customers, meaning that customers pay only for the network ports and the data transfer over the connection, which can greatly reduce networking costs (and with no minimum commitment). For those who are looking at using cloud as a disaster recovery solution this allows you both a persistent connection that can be turned up as required and greater cost control.
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