This Industry Viewpoint was authored by Simon Walker, Senior Manager, Cloud Networking Solutions, Global, BT
The adoption of a cloud-based ecosystem of applications and services continues to accelerate. With employees and offices increasingly dispersed, enterprises are choosing to build their own unique ecosystems of digital solutions and partners. This allows them to meet the different needs of each part of their organizations and customers.
Doing so most often requires a move from connectivity to one cloud to connectivity within and between several clouds. This multi-cloud strategy allows organizations to simultaneously take full advantage of best-in-breed cloud services offered by different providers. Enterprises gain maximum flexibility by wrapping up all wanted services, applications, and cloud providers while also optimizing user experience, strengthening business continuity, and lessening risk of single vendor lock-in.
As cloud deployments increase, the movement of workloads and infrastructure services to an interconnected datacenter is becoming a norm. Doing so offers cost reductions by removing the complexity of securely interconnecting the disparate clouds and delivers an automated experience that evolves over time. It also provides the elasticity and scalability of DevOps environments along with the interoperability and open nature of cloud-based applications.
But a digital transition to cloud environments can be tricky, particularly in environments where there is sensitive, regulated, or complex information. Take capital markets, for example. Many financial institutions have built up a layered infrastructure to support analytics, market data, pricing, trading, risk, settlement, and other functions. These functions can’t simply be moved to the cloud as if they were on wheels. There are real ramifications and regulatory considerations along the way.
Clearly, companies should not underestimate the costs and challenges of migrating tech stacks to the cloud. Coming to grips with secure, resilient end-to-end networking across disparate, heavily interconnected environments is one of the most critical challenges they will face, but it can be done. Here are three tips for smoothing the transition.
Use interconnect-driven datacenter services
Applications are increasingly distributed across private IT, co-location, or several public cloud providers. At the same time, they can be accessed from anywhere, on any device, and at any time. Making greater use of interconnect-driven datacenter services for enhanced ecosystems and connectivity capabilities rather than just their power, space, and cooling can help build and deliver a competitive advantage. The improved cloud connectivity that leading interconnect-driven datacenter providers can offer through their range of carrier and public cloud alliances built on a combination of scale and strategic investment is key for true multi-cloud success.
Accept the need for cloud interconnectivity
Existing IT architectures must adapt to the new reality of integrated multi-cloud interconnectivity. This means running existing systems in private on-premises datacenters and implementing enhanced WAN connectivity at those sites. This enables applications to connect to the complete range of external cloud services across multiple providers, while simultaneously enabling the workforce, partners, and customers with access any applications that are running in these datacenters.
Embrace end-to-end service
Organizations that attempt to source and integrate all the components themselves, including security, in standard multi-cloud or ecosystem-centric environments tend to be quickly challenged by complexity, overhead, and cost. Instead, they should look for a pre-provisioned, pre-integrated, cloud-native connectivity service. Programmable, usage-based access to the interconnection fabric provider within an end-to-end managed and secure network footprint across and between clouds does two things: 1) It removes a significant barrier for organizations looking to commit more deeply to a cloud-native approach, and 2) it reduces the need for organizations to hire scarce skills that lie outside their core business.
Enterprise’s embrace of cloud-based applications and services has been swift and sure.
Those companies that remember to keep a focus on managing the complexity of secure interconnectivity as a key element of a well-planned multi-cloud approach will be one step ahead when it comes to reaping the benefits that result from selecting the right ecosystem of applications and partners.
Simon Walker, Senior Manager, Cloud Networking Solutions for BT Global
Simon runs the cloud networking and co-location capabilities within BT Global, which is at the forefront of helping customers digitally transform their businesses.
In his role, Simon and his team focus on cloud networking, including connectivity from WAN networks. He works with partners like Equinix on new CNF solutions and to find solutions for in-cloud networking to help customers deploy solutions and address cloud-to-cloud networking challenges.
Simon has a lengthy track record working in the industry, having run partnerships for cloud migration, worked with providers on cloud adoption, delivered private compute solutions in high-compliance environments and consulted on migrations to private compute environments.
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