Addressing the Challenges of Multicloud Connectivity
The previous blog discussed the benefits of a multicloud strategy. While this modern cloud architecture provides businesses with the agility to quickly scale capacity, position workloads close to end users, and introduce new services from major public cloud providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, it also introduces a series of challenges.
Today’s fast-paced, distributed business landscape can introduce complexity into connectivity strategies. Businesses are increasingly relying on multiple public cloud providers to deliver a growing portfolio of services. In fact, Gartner expects the use of public cloud services to increase by 76% between the end of 2020 and the end of 2024.
Gartner also notes that “enterprises are increasingly leveraging internet connectivity from branch locations to cloud resources to reduce cost, increase agility and minimize latency to improve performance.” The combination of these distributed cloud workloads and the remote workforce introduced by COVID-19 further increases the complexity of multicloud connections.
Connecting a portfolio of cloud solutions involves managing the various components of the solution—from choosing the providers and provisioning the connections to managing connection performance and the various vendor relationships.
As if that was not challenging enough, the variety of connectivity options—including the public internet, dedicated fiber connections and network-as-a-service (NaaS) offerings—adds another layer of complexity in choosing the appropriate solution as each touts its own benefits and drawbacks.
Managing the many moving pieces involved in devising a multicloud solution that offers direct, private low-latency connections to leading cloud service providers can be difficult. The challenge is choosing the connectivity strategy that best aligns with your business needs.
Balancing Risk, Performance and Costs
As you build your multicloud connectivity strategy, weighing the various connectivity models against the flexibility, performance, security and cost efficiency your business requires can provide insight into the most appropriate solution for your business.
Public Internet. Many businesses rely on the internet for its accessibility and cost efficiency. However, as a shared connection, the internet offers limited control over the security and performance of your connections. This means that your business-critical workloads may be competing for bandwidth with recreational YouTube or social media users, potentially resulting in congestion, increased latency and dropped traffic. For many businesses, the cost savings of this public connection does not offset the potential performance issues and exposure. To address this concern, many organizations seek private, dedicated Layer 2 connectivity options to avoid dealing with shared Layer 3 public networks like the internet.
Dedicated Fiber Connections. A dedicated fiber connection provides a direct, private, physical connection to a major cloud provider. This solution offers optimal security and performance as your businesses is the only one utilizing the connection. However, this intense security comes with a hefty price tag. As businesses continue to introduce multicloud strategies, the expense of this option may outweigh its gold-star security and performance.
Organizations that use this connection also lack the flexibility to scale bandwidth up and down based on fluctuating needs, instead paying for a specific bandwidth for a contracted term regardless if they are using the full capacity.
NaaS. NaaS offers a flexible alternative that allows your business to easily add and scale connections on-demand based on evolving requirements. This solution is less expensive than a dedicated connection, yet provides an enhanced level of security and performance over what the internet offers as it utilizes the network of the NaaS provider. Billing is also consumption based to avoid long-term contracts for unused capacity.
Stay tuned for the final blog in the multicloud strategy series and discover the key factors to consider when partnering with a connectivity solution partner.
 Gartner, Cool Vendors in Enhanced Internet Services and Cloud Connectivity, September 22, 2020.