Flexibility matters when connecting to the cloud

Flexibility matters when connecting to the cloud

14 October 2019 | Andrew Schaap

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Andrew Schaap

Blog Author | CEO, Aligned Energy

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Companies seeking to expand their business operations and services into new or existing markets must be able to extend their reach by dynamically connecting to their customers and partners, cloud services and network providers, and Internet Exchange (IX) platforms and ISPs.

Cloud on-ramps, data centre interconnect (DCI) and transport services enable these companies to seamlessly adapt their hybrid IT requirements, while expanding their network service capabilities and footprint with highly reliable and low-latency connectivity from their host colocation facility and beyond. That said, not all colocation providers’ cloud connectivity solutions are created equally.

The most optimal cloud on-ramps are not just the ones found at strategically located colocation facilities in regions where there is already an abundance of fibre infrastructure and the availability of fast internet connectivity speeds. They are the ones that make sense with your business. Flexibility in connectivity is just as important as your data centre providers’ ability to adapt to things like your timetable, budget, expansion needs, efficiency requirements, sustainability objectives and overall vision.

Location and modern network infrastructure help, of course, offering carrier-neutral connectivity to a robust network of top-tier carriers and telecommunications providers by way of multiple diverse Meet-Me Rooms, as well as intuitive, software-defined network (SDN) functionality. For companies to make the most out of cloud computing, they need the performance, reliability, speed, and security that only private connectivity offers. If an organisation is connecting to its cloud provider over the public Internet, it faces potential security risks, data loss and unpredictable drops in network availability. For highly regulated businesses, such as healthcare organisations and financial services institutions, these liabilities are non-starters.

Companies need secure, private, cost-effective connectivity options to leading cloud service providers (CSPs), among these Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, Salesforce, and others, preferably from data centres that are geographically dispersed. Large enterprises and platform providers also benefit from connectivity that aligns with their business needs, and that means instantaneous provisioning and the flexibility of a range connection speeds, starting at 1Gbps.

Data centre interconnect and transport services

Frequently, customers want to connect their infrastructure, even when it’s hosted in their own data centers, to and between their colocation facilities and CSPs using a flexible, reliable DCI virtual cross-connect network connectivity solution. Ideally, DCI connections are also provided at flexible speeds, can be provisioned instantaneously, and offer transparent pricing backed by a competitive service level agreement (SLA).

Carrier-grade Layer 2 and Layer 3 transport services, offered in conjunction with a colocation provider’s network partners, make connecting and extending an organisation’s IT presence easier. Preferably, these transport services have the options of dedicated or blended IP bandwidth from a broad choice of ISPs. Top tier transport services will offer point-to-point, high-speed, low latency blended connectivity that is available through a variety of wholesale partners. Whether dedicated protected or unprotected Ethernet channels, both should enable reliable connectivity between your colocation facility and nearby carrier hotels.

Lastly, carrier-neutral colocation providers should also be able to offer enterprise and platform companies fully lit and available on-net connections to their customers, partners and service providers within the facilities themselves. Once again, these lit and on-net connections are optimal when accompanied by seamless provisioning and turn-up, high reliability and low latency. Ideally, they’ll be offered at no monthly cross-connect fees. 

An essential element of the adaptive data centre model, providing carrier-neutral and open connectivity that extends organisations’ reach to the cloud, their customers, partners, and providers ultimately promotes better business outcomes, both today and tomorrow.