With the surge in digital solutions adoption, businesses face an ever-growing need to enhance the delivery of application-based services in a speedy, secure, and reliable way. This drives them towards cloud solutions offering advantages, ensuring seamless application access and management over the Internet. While the advantages of cloud connectivity are apparent, selecting the optimal solution is not quite simple, owing to the availability of multiple cloud service providers. Understanding diverse cloud offerings can be challenging and complicates decision-making.
This post aims to provide the insights necessary to navigate the complexities of cloud connectivity and help businesses make informed decisions.
What is Cloud Connect?
As the name suggests, ‘Cloud Connect’, also known as cloud connectivity, facilitates seamless connectivity between an enterprise’s IT network and cloud-based applications, resources, or services. It provides uninterrupted communication and data exchange, fostering effortless and swift collaboration between on-premise systems and cloud service providers.
The primary benefit of cloud connectivity lies in its ability to empower enterprises with access to various virtualised cloud computing services, such as SaaS applications, data storage, analytics, and other web-based software. This eliminates the need to invest in costly on-premise hardware or software.
Types of Cloud Models
There are four primary types of cloud deployment models:
1. Public Cloud: This is a widely adopted cloud deployment model accessible via the public Internet, allowing users to manage their accounts and services through web browsers. Prominent examples include Gmail, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
- Pros: Highly cost-efficient and low maintenance due to its public internet-based delivery
- Cons: Security can be a concern for numerous enterprises
2. Virtual Private Cloud (VPC): It is another popular public cloud deployment model that enables the delivery of services through cloud virtualisation. In VPC, computing resources are separated from other computing resources within the same public cloud environment.
- Pros: Better performance and security compared to the public cloud, as it’s hosted securely within a public cloud environment
- Cons: Relatively more expensive than public cloud adoption
3. Private Cloud: In this model, the cloud infrastructure is located on-premise, typically within users’ firewall. It is dedicated exclusively to the end user and is preferred for enhanced security and reliability.
- Pros: Due to its robust infrastructure, it can handle extensive data volume while maintaining predictable performance, greater data security, and resource control
- Cons: Scalability can be restrictive owing to cost, space, and power constraints
4. Hybrid Cloud: Within the hybrid cloud model, a part of the network resides on-premise, while the rest is hosted on a public or third-party cloud. Businesses typically employ this model to maintain their critical data on-premise, while less sensitive data can be stored on the public cloud. This helps them exercise greater control over sensitive data and minimise cybersecurity risks, while reducing the cost of cloud deployment.
- Pros: Optimises performance owing to enhanced control and flexibility in distributing workloads across multiple cloud infrastructures
- Cons: Managing the IT environment can be challenging due to increased network complexity
3 Safe Cloud Connectivity Options
Here are three safe cloud connectivity options:
1. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) establishes a secure and encrypted connection between users’ devices and the cloud services they seek to access. By masking IP addresses, VPNs effectively prevent unwanted third-party access, thus protecting users’ privacy and strengthening the security of business-critical data.
You can establish a connection to a VPC in two ways. One approach involves utilising a dedicated cloud connection from your private WAN. Alternatively, users can employ a remote access VPN to connect to the VPC.
VPNs are popular because they are secure, adaptable, scalable, and cost-efficient for accessing cloud applications. Nevertheless, it can sometimes become unreliable because of its over-dependence on the public Internet for service delivery.
2. MPLS IP VPN
MPLS IP VPN is a popular choice for businesses seeking to enhance their cloud connectivity. It utilises public cloud resources or VPCs via cloud connections, allowing organisations to connect their on-premise networks to the public cloud without exposing their data to the public Internet.
It leverages Multi-protocol Label Switching (MPLS) technology to establish secure private network paths within a shared network infrastructure. By utilising Layer 2 or Layer 3 Ethernet circuits, it can connect remote customer sites or data centres through an MPLS fabric, ensuring uninterrupted cloud connectivity. MPLS IP VPN offers enhanced security compared to remote access VPNs as data is routed directly through a mesh to enterprise sites and other cloud-based applications. However, it can be more expensive, particularly for enterprises with large geographical footprints and higher bandwidth requirements.
3. Cloud Connect
Cloud Connect harnesses private Ethernet connectivity to provide fast, reliable, SLA-backed and secure connectivity to global cloud service providers. Enterprises can scale their bandwidth seamlessly to align with business demands. Furthermore, it facilitates both on-premise and public cloud computing, data storage and management.
Key Benefits of Cloud Connect
Compared to VPN and MPLS IP VPN, Cloud Connect offers multiple advantages. Here are some that set Cloud Connect apart:
- Global Cloud Access: It utilises dedicated Layer 2 MEF-certified Ethernet services to provide cloud access via globally distributed data centres. It minimises exposure to the security threats posed by the public Internet.
- Simplified Multi-cloud Management: Managing a multi-cloud strategy is streamlined by eliminating the complexities of juggling multiple SLAs with various cloud service providers. Cloud Connect offers access to leading cloud services from a single platform, enabling on-demand connections to the cloud service provider of your choice.
- Reliable Network Performance: It enables organisations to achieve more consistent and reliable network performance, which is imperative for mission-critical applications requiring low latency or high bandwidth.
- Adaptive Scalability: Cloud Connect offers scalable, granular bandwidth options starting at 50Mbps. Organisations can provision SLA-backed connections on-demand and scale up as demand grows, without investing in hardware or physical infrastructure.
Implementing Cloud Connect: 4 Crucial Considerations
To harness the advantages of Cloud Connect, you need to select the right service provider. How do you choose the right one? Here are a few things to consider:
- Extensive Global Reach: Inquire about the service provider’s partner ecosystem with global cloud service providers (CSPs). Partnerships with leading CSPs enable you to connect to the cloud whenever and wherever you need.
- End-to-end Solution: Prioritise service providers offering one-stop connectivity solutions, including data and voice. This eliminates the need to procure disparate solutions from various providers.
- Flexibility: Opt for a provider that can facilitate on-demand connectivity and seamless bandwidth scaling to adapt to evolving business needs.
- Performance Assurance: Check if there are Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to ensure maximum uptime and guaranteed performance.
Engaging with multiple cloud service providers can be time-consuming, expensive, and complex, given the need to manage multiple contracts. Cloud Connect not only provides high-performance connectivity to an extensive array of cloud service providers but also streamlines the management of numerous stakeholders into a single point of contact.
Get in touch with us to learn how Epsilon’s Cloud Connect can provide your organisation with a direct, reliable, and secure cloud connection to a wide ecosystem of leading and niche cloud service providers.