The enterprise industry is changing, largely in part to the evolution in cloud computing and technology. According to analysts at Saugatuck Technology, over 60 percent of enterprises will boast at least 50 percent of their infrastructure on cloud-based platforms by 2018. Their report “Digital Business Rethinking Fundamentals” reveals that no matter how complex the ecosystem of the Cloud, it’s critical for enterprises to adopt and adapt to best manage business applications and workloads. The IDC backs this claim, predicting that 35 percent of all new applications, whether enterprise-centric or not, will be Cloud-enabled by 2017. This means quicker rollouts, better innovation and business application growth. Ultimately, the Cloud will move solidly from within enterprises to more data centers from third-party providers.
The entire ecosystem is growing, and data centers are at the hub of it all. The aggregator of the system is the Cloud exchange, whether you’re talking about enterprise, colocation or connecting to the big guys like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft’s Azure. The Cloud exchange is linking complex ecosystems composed of computing platforms, transaction strategies and cloud service providers inside or in between a variety of data centers. The best data centers have prime locations, plenty of interconnectedness and power by the bucketful. This all leads to a quality Cloud services system. The majority of data centers boast fantastic bandwidth from facility to facility to help with fast Cloud connectivity.
However, that final connectivity to the business-based Cloud user is still a hurdle to clear.
Not Feeling “Connected?”
Cloud computing keeps growing and is more and more often becoming a permanent part of data centers. This means the desire to “connect” beyond to data centers, specifically to Cloud users who are business-minded, is becoming more important—and more complicated. Simply accessing the market is tough and there’s zero ubiquity of the network. Plus, connectivity is flat-out expensive, especially in the “last mile.” That’s where almost 70 percent of network services costs reside, particularly with remote locations, enterprise HQ and in some cases even data centers owned by the enterprise. There’s also little visibility when it comes to locations of enterprises. What bandwidth connects these regions? What networks? The Cloud is limited by an enterprise’s network, so connectivity has become key.
An enterprise’s business applications, no matter what they’re used for, “decide” the connectivity necessary to link up the location. This can be email, video streaming and any other type of big storage or file sharing of media. A Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) of lower bandwidth might be used, or an Ethernet Private Line of higher bandwidth may exist. Most bigger companies favor linking Cloud services with a private, dedicated connection to improve protection, scalability and performance. For many, Direct Cloud connectivity via Ethernet is the only choice thanks to its high performance and security, incredible reliability and scalability—this level of performance can’t happen from the Internet.
Overall, Ethernet is also a more cost-effective option when looking at a Mbps rate. You’ll get higher bandwidth compared to Wide Area Network (WAN) options, although WAN options like Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) are still popular for businesses with multiple locations. There’s not going to be a one size fits all answer for all enterprises, since each business needs to look at applications, location, pricing and connectivity that are best for them. However, moving to the era of enterprise Cloud usage means tools are in demand that focus on transparency in service. Enterprises need services that attend to their application demands and pricing that’s competitive right now.
Leveraging network marketplaces may be a solution for enterprises. This would allow for auto applications to price out and design connectivity from a myriad of aggregated network tech as well as geographies. Plus, it gets rid of the overly complex fragmented network market. Visibility improves, pricing is readily available in real time and enterprises have more knowledge before making an important business move. The “right” services, locations and applications can end up saving enterprises several thousand dollars per year.
Can a network marketplace make enterprise management easier as the Cloud gets consumed? Only time will tell, but enterprises should start focusing on which variables they need to consider when looking at connectivity between Cloud users and data centers.