Whether it is private, public, hybrid or multi-cloud, there’s no doubt that demands for cloud services are rising across the globe. More enterprises than ever before are adopting different cloud solutions, expanding on their infrastructure, and developing new cloud strategies as they continue to navigate increasingly dispersed working environments.
According to Allied Market Research, the global cloud services market was valued at $325.6 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach around $1.6 trillion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 15.8%. According to Foundry’s Cloud Computing Study 2022, the percentage of companies with most or all IT infrastructure in the cloud is expected to leap from 41% in 2022 to 63% by the end of 2023.
With more enterprise-wide-area networks (WAN) incorporating multiple clouds, sites and remote users, efficient management and WAN visibility have never been so important. It is vital for enterprises to transform their architecture and get expert advice on how to maximise the value of their cloud investments, with performance and security at the core.
Many enterprises are seeking the help of providers to deploy cloud-first technologies such as SD-WAN. This can enhance visibility and control across the WAN, regardless of the transport, cloud or other endpoints. When looking into this, it is important for enterprises to remember the importance of the underlying transport access, and to find a service provider with the end-to-end expertise and technical support needed to make it a success.
Here are five things that enterprises need to be aware of when choosing a service provider, which are critical to the successful management of cloud connectivity across their WAN.
1. Hidden cloud costs
Some service providers fail to explain data egress fees to enterprises – one of the cloud’s biggest hidden costs. Usually, cloud providers allow you to input your data for free (ingress), but will charge a fee whenever your applications write data out from the cloud to your users, other applications and sites (egress). At volume, this can lead to significant data egress costs, which in turn can create budget issues.
Enterprises should use a service provider that offers a private and scalable network with direct connectivity to the cloud. This can reduce packet loss, offer greater security, and often greatly reduce the cost of data egress.
2. Multi-cloud complexities
When using more than one cloud provider to achieve greater efficiencies and economies of scale, some challenges can also occur. Operational visibility and control can often be challenging, as well as the need to deal with multiple provider relationships. Multi-cloud spawl can result in IT governance challenges, security inconsistencies and in many cases, higher costs.
Enterprises should work with a service provider that can simplify the connectivity between clouds, sites and users, with a single relationship and experience.
3. Point-to-point cloud connectivity alternatives
Most cloud providers provide direct point-to-point connections to their cloud, which can be an acceptable option, but offer little value in terms of flexibility and scalability when connecting to multiple cloud providers.
Enterprises need a provider that can provide a secure, scalable and on-demand direct interface with multiple leading cloud providers. Such providers should not only offer the direct cloud connectivity that you need in the present but also offer connectivity to multiple clouds and a range of other flexible solutions. A comprehensive cloud networking solution can provide the automation, operational visibility and control that enterprises need to simplify multi-cloud in their organisations.
4. The importance of SD-WAN underlay
For enterprises with a multi-cloud, multi-site network, simply overlaying SD-WAN on low-cost internet-based services may not work for every application, user and location. This can lead to congestion and application performance issues at the branch for end users.
Enterprises should find a provider that will work with them on their cloud connectivity strategy and architecture based on their mission-critical applications, business needs and objectives. The solution needs to support a growing mix of private and public cloud services across different locations, with a flexible network infrastructure and solid underlay that can support different levels of application and user experience performance requirements.
5. The importance of architecture design
To ensure a high-performance multi-cloud architecture, enterprises must consider their business architecture – the functional architecture of their applications, and their data and workload construct – as well as the design of their network. This is based on the interaction of their business architecture, how critical their applications are, as well as external interfaces.
It should be designed based on an enterprise’s needs from its business architecture and how it interacts with itself, users, partners and external sources. A flexible network should be designed that focuses on the mission-critical elements, with overlay solutions to manage the whole process end-to-end.
An accelerated cloud journey
Enterprises can simplify and accelerate their cloud journey with a comprehensive approach to the underlay and overlay network technologies. By choosing a provider that can efficiently connect enterprises to multiple cloud providers and expand their opportunities, it makes it simple to reap the benefits of their cloud strategy end-to-end, with high efficiency and integrated security.
By Mark Daley, Director of Digital Strategy & Business Development at Epsilon Telecommunications