4 Ways Enterprises Realize Their Cloud Dreams Through Hybrid Colocation And Cloud On-Ramp Connections

4 Ways Enterprises Realize Their Cloud Dreams Through Hybrid Colocation And Cloud On-Ramp Connections

In early 2022, Ericsson released a report on global data production, which found that (unsurprisingly) the amount of data produced each day is growing exponentially. Today’s best estimates suggest that the amount of data produced each month is expected to increase between 4 and 6 by 2027, amounting to 282 exabytes of data produced monthly.

While it may seem easy to pin this explosive growth on end-users and their growing access to digital technology, the data doesn’t support this conclusion. The reality is that the increasing complexity of digital services, combined with expanding data center infrastructure, has led to enterprises driving the majority of this growth. In fact, groups like IDC estimate that the enterprise data sphere will grow twice as fast as the consumer data sphere over the next five years.

Noting this, enterprise IT teams are facing immense pressure to accelerate business initiatives while maintaining their data operations’ integrity, security, and agility. Driving these revenue-generating services at scale requires IT teams to utilize and optimize their cloud resources efficiently. An increasing number of IT teams are looking to hybrid infrastructure to drive digital transformation at an accelerated speed. Thankfully, colocation providers offer the exact combination of expertise and technical capability that enterprises need to realize the promise of a hybrid IT infrastructure designed for performance, reliability, security, and cost-effectiveness.

Adopting Hybrid and Multi-cloud Strategies Are Not Alternatives To Proper Application Placement

During the onset of the pandemic, organizations began seeking data solutions that would allow them to leverage increased space, power, and connectivity to deliver their digital services. Unfortunately, utilizing a public cloud provider like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud posed several new challenges for IT administrators to overcome. Unsanctioned use of public cloud resources, data security concerns, governance requirements, data sovereignty, and exploding egress fees are only some of the reasons that 48% of businesses indicate they’ve begun repatriating certain workloads to on-premise centers. This nods towards an important development in cloud computing in the last decade: the rise in hybrid IT infrastructure.

Powered by interconnecting public clouds, on-premise centers, and colocation resources,  hybrid IT infrastructure marries cloud resources in a more cost-effective, agile, and secure way than can be realized by exclusively committing to one strategy. Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud strategies are both examples of Hybrid IT infrastructure. Though these names insinuate similar functions, they propose different ways of supporting hybrid network architecture. Hybrid cloud strategies are defined by the simultaneous utilization of public clouds and on-premise data centers. Often, hybrid cloud strategies are pursued because they allow organizations to take advantage of the public cloud’s scalability while keeping highly sensitive data secure on a private network. To most people, this is the strategy they think of when they think of hybrid IT. On the other hand, multi-cloud strategies use multiple different public clouds rather than mixing private resources and public clouds. This allows businesses that have a variety of needs that cannot be satisfied by a single public cloud provider to still benefit from the scalability of a public cloud environment.

While both hybrid and multi-cloud strategies offer a more eloquent path to leverage the power of cloud computing than a solely public or private strategy does, they are not in and of themselves able to overcome the reality that some applications are not built to run well in the cloud.

Three Application Types That Are Not Cloud Friendly

Data-Intensive Applications

Applications dealing in terabytes to petabytes of data require massive storage and intensive computational power to execute the complex queries underlying the application in a timely manner. This opens the operator up to the substantial risk of latency, downtime, and customer satisfaction should the cloud not be able to efficiently deliver the application to the end-user. Additionally, applications of this intensity are sure to balloon egress spending – a sore spot for any IT team.

Sensitive Applications

Applications that are built internally to serve the purpose of managing and storing enterprise’s sensitive data often should not be hosted in the cloud. Enterprises who host sensitive applications in the cloud may find themselves unable to continuously avail their sensitive data or unaware if their providers’ data security protocols have changed. This poses a significant problem to healthcare, finance, and governmental organizations, which must demonstrate strict data regulation for compliance reasons.

Static Applications

Moving static applications that require the same horsepower every day, such as CRM, ERP, SEM, or Human Capital Management systems, to the cloud is not advised. Many solutions of this type are modular, so the more modules you activate, the more you need to pay. Besides, if you pay monthly fees long enough, these costs can surpass a one-time investment in equipment that you would make when choosing on-premise solutions.

Meet Today’s Distributed IT Demands With Native Cloud On-Ramps

Given these challenges, businesses who want to stand up an effective hybrid IT infrastructure need to work with cloud experts like colocation providers who invest in the proper packaging, automation, and tooling to deliver continuous optimization necessary to support enterprises’ modernization efforts.  Intelligent cloud workload placement is a priority, and colocation provides a connected platform for decoupled applications held within the business’s control. Interconnection between businesses colocated or cloud IT components is the most critical.

Native Cloud On-ramps Deliver Superior Performance

Many businesses that implement cloud-based services like IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS fail to implement an internet or networking strategy that can capably overcome variable performance capabilities resulting from relying on the public internet. To get over this hurdle, enterprises should look to partner with colocation providers who leverage native on-ramps to interconnect their data center resources.

Native on-ramps allow organizations to establish a dedicated, private network connection between an organization’s data resources in colocation environments and public cloud providers. By offering a direct link to public cloud resources, direct connect capability enables businesses to bypass the public internet completely and securely transmit data, minimize latency, and dramatically reduce egress spending.

Native Cloud On-ramps Are Powered By Physical & Virtual Layers

Physical cross-connects are one-to-one cable links between an organization and service providers within the same data center. Physical cross-connects allow organizations to quickly and affordably integrate their digital ecosystem with their partners and service providers while enjoying reliable, low-latency data exchange. However, because connecting to multiple clouds, ISPs, and off-premise locations each requires a new cross-connect to be established, solely relying on physical cross-connects can quickly inflate costs.

Enter virtual cross connects, which map its way across the network from the colocation provider directly to the cloud provider within the customer’s domain. Unlike physical cross-connects, virtual cross-connects enable a one-to-one connection that can be re-mapped quickly to multiple endpoints. This means a private, direct connection is established between a network and a cloud provider, content delivery network, or carrier, through a single port. Enterprise networks and service providers use these virtual connections because they mimic physical connections while being faster, more secure, and delivered with lower latency than connections over the public internet.

Both layers of cross-connect work in tandem to stand up native on-ramps that enable data center interconnection in colocation environments. By making it easy to requisition multiple network connections rapidly, interconnection allows colocation customers to distribute their workloads across their infrastructure. This allows IT teams to enjoy a resilient, integrated mesh of connectivity that allows them to orchestrate multiple, simultaneous digital transactions rather than languish trying to finagle connections between disparate nodes and providers within a network.

Accessing Cloud On-Ramps Offers Enterprises Obvious Benefits With Straightforward Network Connections

When businesses are first getting started with multi-cloud or hybrid environments, using the public internet to access and connect to cloud partners may seem like the simple choice. But trusting high-priority workloads to the public internet doesn’t always deliver the security, performance, or resiliency that businesses require when transferring data between multiple clouds and on-premise or other infrastructure locations. Colocation’s networking options provide the foundational layer that businesses can leverage to consistently deliver fast, secure, and reliable performance across their entire digital infrastructure. Businesses can access private, dedicated on-ramps from a single location to a wide array of cloud providers. Additionally, using virtualized solutions, customers can support multiple virtual connections via a single physical port, saving on making individual physical connections to network and cloud providers.

Reduced Latency

By removing the intermediary of a VPN, native on-ramps allow data to travel the shortest possible distance between the application and the end user. This means that native on-ramps used by colocation providers allow organizations not to have to compete with public internet traffic to deliver digital services and applications even during peak usage times. In the end, this leads to reduced jitter, latency, and packet loss, ultimately resulting in a more satisfying experience for the user.

Improved Security

While hybrid IT allows for network infrastructure distribution, it also opens up more attack vectors and increased risk of security breaches. However, by utilizing the one-to-many connections offered by native on-ramps, colocation providers can integrate critical protections, including DDoS mitigation techniques, managed firewalls, and other cybersecurity solutions to safeguard data in transit.

Improved Flexibility

By enabling users to access a variety of cloud services over the same cloud interconnect link, colocation providers allow customers to allocate different workloads to resources with the appropriate price and performance profile. Additionally, since these one-to-many connections can be provisioned and torn down in minutes, colocation customers can try more potential partners and experiment with different application architectures suited to their needs for a low per-CSP investment.

Reduced Cost

One of the chief concerns of using public cloud resources is the high costs of moving data in and out of the cloud. Unfortunately, the common solutions to this of creating redundant WAN connections or scaling their applications through their ISP have not resulted in lower costs. However, by creating direct, private connections to public cloud providers through native on-ramps, colocation customers can see their egress fees drop by up to 80% in North America.

To learn more about the Element Critical ecosystem of providers and how native on-ramps can accelerate your business’s digital transformation journey with more efficient utilization of critical organizational and cloud resources, connect with our solutions architect at [email protected].

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