Private, Public, Hybrid, and Multicloud Options: All in the Mix?

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JULY, 2017

The Cloud

Over the last twenty years, “the cloud” has become an endless sky of many different clouds, some private – some public – some hybrid. Some clouds are application specific. Other clouds support many applications. There is such an exploding variety of clouds, entirely new industries have grown up around the management of multiclouds. Examples include Cloud Management Platforms with pricing, service levels, and marketplaces – and Cloud Brokerages within enterprises, with cloud experts advising DevOps teams which clouds to use for which purpose and at what point in application development and deployment cycles.

AWS is clearly the big winner in cloud, at least so far. But earlier this year, a massive outage of AWS S3 made a lot of enterprises and businesses stop and think about putting so much into AWS. Just as these enterprises were smart to have redundant connectivity providers, they are looking more and more at hedging their bets. Putting non-critical applications into public clouds, and mission critical applications into private clouds are some of the options being implemented.

So how are service providers now helping connect these clouds? For decades, they have been replacing X.25, TDM and copper with circuit-based and circuit-switched networks, using Internet Protocol.

Today, MPLS networking and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are giving thousands of enterprises and businesses the security and performance they need, as well as meeting compliance standards, in industries including, but not limited to, financial services, healthcare, government, retail and e-commerce.

With more and more “hyperconnectivity” happening, including in the Internet of Things, where billions of end-points are coming online, new options are being considered for connecting branch offices. SD-WANs, made possible as more and more networks are becoming virtualized, where network functions are no longer driven by specific servers, gateways, session border controllers, and physical equipment, but are offered “as a service” using commercial off the shelf gear, are now connecting to clouds within data centers, for example.

The connectivity required to bring multiple clouds together to support enterprises and businesses and to offer consumer over-the-top services (VoIP, streaming and on-demand entertainment, collaboration, and applications including Facetime, Skype and WhatsApp) is an evolving business for network operators and service providers.

As they transform their networks to software-defined, and move their networks closer to 4G/LTE, invest more in wireless as fixed lines go away, and run fiber into more and more homes – keeping the multicloud world in mind makes sense. And keeping people communicating and productive makes money.

The ramifications of downtime can make for a truly awful day, and the repercussions can carry on for weeks and even years.

The impact of outages like the AWS S3 in the hyperconnected world reminds us that with the sheer variety of applications, clouds, and connectivity options – it’s a good idea to have a unified view and control over a multicloud environment.

“…“the cloud” worked out pretty well, and saved millions of dollars over the last decade…”

While “the cloud” worked out pretty well, and saved millions of dollars over the last decade, as EVERYTHING as a service, and the Internet of EVERYTHING continues to expand, IT teams and the network operators and service providers who support them now recognize that public cloud is not a recipe for long-term success.

Gartner says that as enterprises move more and more to the cloud, more and more are choosing a multicloud strategy.

By 2020, a corporate “no-cloud” policy will be as rare as a “no-internet” policy is today, according to Gartner, Inc. Cloud-first, and even cloud-only, is replacing the defensive no-cloud stance that dominated many large providers in recent years. Today, most provider technology innovation is cloud-centric, with the stated intent of retrofitting the technology to on-premises.

“Aside from the fact that many organizations with a no-cloud policy actually have some under-the-radar or unavoidable cloud usage, we believe that this position will become increasingly untenable,” said Jeffrey Mann, research vice president at Gartner. “Cloud will increasingly be the default option for software deployment. The same is true for custom software, which increasingly is designed for some variation of public or private cloud.”

Even as some Tier One service providers are exiting the cloud business per se (Verizon and AT&T for example) they know there is still huge value in cloud and particularly hybrid, or MultiCloud, and have figured out they can make more money connecting those clouds than operating them.

They are also seeing major changes in their Central Offices (CO).COs are now becoming more like connectivity hubs and mini-Network Operations Centers (NOCs), with systems helping them run the network, and excel at connectivity. We are seeing more and more software inside NOCs, small to massive, and we are proud to be a systems developer, integrator, and manager for many of the largest networking companies in the world. Our NOCVue, NOCVue QuickChassis, NOCDiscovery, and NOCPlan products and platforms are precisely the kind of “NOC of the Future” solutions our customers are leveraging to bring their operations to a new, more efficient, and more elegantly software controlled environment. Now ready for any number of clouds to connect in any number of variations.

For more information about multicloud connectivity strategies and solutions, contact cloud@velankani.com.

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