Connectivity considerations for cloud migration
Hybrid infrastructure environments, made up of a combination of legacy and cloud applications and in-house and outsourced IT, are emerging as the dominant model for enterprises looking to accelerate high-priority business initiatives. According to Gartner, half of all large enterprises globally will have deployed hybrid cloud by the end of 2017, with 2016 being a “defining” year, where they will start to move away from private into hybrid.
However, the actual cloud migration process is very complex, and we’re seeing enterprises that are shifting from dedicated to cloud taking it application by application. When it comes to shifting mission critical applications to the cloud – or those applications that, if they fail, will paralyze the business— many enterprises are stopping short. Their concerns about moving mission critical apps to the cloud are primarily motivated by security risks and performance issues, which are significant deterrents: Cisco’s Global IT Impact Survey reveals that 50 percent of businesses surveyed said their move to the cloud was impeded by concerns over data security.
For many enterprises we’re talking to, it’s not only the security risks inherent to the public cloud that are making them apprehensive – they are also concerned with using the public Internet to connect their private IT installations to public clouds. With its potential latency, throughput and security issues, the Internet’s vulnerabilities are stark. For instance, the Internet, which is an open connection of diverse networks, causes a significant risk of down-time and performance inconsistency. Plus, if the primary Internet connection fails, businesses often cannot offer sufficient capacity from their backup system to provide the same level of service. Not to mention, the Internet is a bull’s-eye for hackers who are looking to exploit data-rich applications.
Large enterprises and Service Providers are quickly realizing that they’ll need to connect directly to their Cloud Providers in order to achieve a hybrid IT reality for themselves or their customers— but few want to do so through open Internet connectivity. In response to business demands, public cloud providers are addressing this access issue with private connection solutions, such as AWS Direct Connect, Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute, and Softlayer Direct Link. But implementing these as individual one-to-one links heralds a future networking scalability problem.
That is where connectivity-rich data center providers like Interxion are stepping in. With new solutions like Interxion’s Cloud Connect, enterprises can establish a single, physical connection from within Interxion facilities and then directly connect to their cloud provider of choice. By operating the switching infrastructure and the necessary network capacity, we are enabling our customers to access the relevant private connect service in their respective market, while simplifying their ease of doing business.
Increasingly, private connect is being seen as the enterprise-grade interconnection solution for businesses shifting business critical workloads, latency sensitive applications, and privacy sensitive data to the public cloud. And, while private connect solutions still aren’t widely available, as more enterprises realize the benefits of hybrid cloud and become more comfortable with cloud migrations, we expect the approach to become much more common in the coming years.