This Industry Viewpoint was contributed by Adam Janota, VP of Global Marketing, Console
The rapid shift by Enterprise IT to a cloud consumption model is increasing network traffic exponentially. The numbers speak for themselves; the Rightscale 2016 State of the Cloud report found that 95% out of 1060 IT professionals surveyed, are using cloud services. As cloud consumption increases, enterprises are scrambling to address network security and performance concerns associated with public Internet connectivity. The fact is, most enterprises still use the Internet to access the cloud. Additional concerns include network hijacking, congestion, and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
Bypassing the public Internet to privately connect to business-critical partners is the focus of many, however there hasn't been a simple and cost effective way for enterprise networks to directly connect and collaborate. Whether attempting to connect enterprise-to-enterprise or enterprise-to-cloud, the complexity and cost has been a joint problem.
Current State of Private Network-to-Network Connectivity
One of the biggest challenges with traditional network-to-network connections is the first step: activation. The process to set up network connections amongst enterprises, cloud operators and SaaS operators is highly manual and requires interaction between the parties, whether by email or in person (a social process). These connections are activated manually and require many of hours of work, with complex Layer2 and Layer3 network configurations performed by in-house or hired experts. The RightScale survey referenced above, also uncovered that lack of resources/expertise has supplanted security as the top cloud challenge in 2016.
From start to finish, the entire process takes time and capital to establish. The cost and complexity also significantly increases when considering global network-to-network connections, often making it difficult and in many cases impossible to scale.
Further complicating matters is the sheer amount of data which has grown at an immense pace. Manual network-to-network connections make it difficult to keep up with the changing needs of capacity and volume, causing issues with efficiency and scalability, especially when connecting to cloud.
Making it Simple for the Enterprise
There needs to be a new-to-market solution to tackle these challenges of complexity, scalability and volume. Enterprise connectivity needs a social platform. Traditional social networks like LinkedIn or Facebook, allow a user to create a company and/or individual profile, for purpose of communicating through an easy to use interface.
This new social platform would leverage the same social mechanisms, with the additional benefit of network management, to make these traditional network-to-network connections easy.
A natural byproduct of eliminating this friction is an acceleration of ecosystem growth. More organizations can now participate in connecting privately to each other. Once on the platform, it is easy to connect to more global enterprises, networks, cloud providers, SaaS providers and data centers.
There are various use cases. Not only can enterprises privately connect to their business critical clouds “enterprise-to-cloud”, but they can also privately connect to each other “enterprise-to-enterprise” (for example key partners in a supply chain or important customers). They can even connect “cloud-to-cloud” for critical applications.
This platform would provide other key benefits, including control and visibility to what has been historically inaccessible through the Public Internet. On this social platform, every participant would now see how and where their traffic is flowing.
Additionally, the platform infrastructure would be globally distributed so that companies can connect to others regardless if they are local, across the country or across the planet… with the click of a button and without the need for companies to search the globe for the exact physical network locations of their respective partners.
Now an enterprise would seamlessly have the tools, partners and infrastructure to manage multiple secure direct connections, all from one portal. Accessing a global ecosystem would now be simple, because there would be one virtual location, where everyone is already available to connect.
Our contribution to solving all these problems is the Console platform. The secret sauce we have developed is the automation technology that allows for instant “private highway” and data flow. This is the key piece to what has traditionally been addressed through manual configuration, expensive equipment, and advanced expertise. The elimination of complexity via automation, combined with the power of social networking, makes for a very compelling platform which can facilitate more business and collaboration between organizations. Just as one might ask a friend to “add me on Facebook” or “follow me on Twitter”, now cloud service providers and enterprises can instruct their key supply-chain partners and customers to “connect to me on Console” for purposes of private, high performance data connections.
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Console is the first social platform of its kind to enable organizations to bypass the public Internet and establish direct network-to-network connections to each other with a click of a button. Watch a demo of Console by clicking here
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