How businesses use and connect to the Cloud is changing. With the accelerated use of private and hybrid Cloud applications and computing, network and application service providers alike are seeing a substantial shift in how businesses want to connect to the Cloud – particularly mid-tier and large enterprises. The connectivity trend is moving away from the public Internet to private direct connections and networks, including hybrid Wide Area Networks (WANs) using a myriad of technologies that best support the specific Cloud solutions used at each business location.
I caught up with Global Capacity’s Vice President of Marketing, Mary Stanhope, shortly after she returned from theGlobal Ethernet Networking 2015 (GEN15) conference where she participated on a debate session titled “Evolution of the WAN for Cloud”. Mary shared some of her top takeaways and key messages from the event with me.
“The reason why I’m so excited about the topic of Cloud connectivity is because there is a challenge for our industry to solve. There is a huge demand for Cloud-based enterprise services including computing and applications, but the access or connection to these services is still frequently Internet-based and lacks the security and performance required. Innovative technologies are available to solve and simplify Cloud connectivity,” shared Mary.
“This debate session served as a platform for myself, Adam Janota, of Equinix and moderator Roopa Honnachari of Frost & Sullivan to discuss how we as an industry are eliminating the concerns of not only connecting to the Cloud but evolving the network technology and architecture to best deliver all types of Cloud services,” Mary added.
WAN architectures must evolve to support the growing use of Cloud-based computing and real-time, interactive business applications being deployed outside of business headquarters’ brick and mortar. 15 years ago, companies used Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) architecture to interconnect branch offices to each other because it offers any-to-any connectivity for thousands of sites combined with Quality of Service (QoS) for packet prioritization. While MPLS remains a popular WAN connectivity option, it is no longer the total solution. The evolution of the enterprise has created a need for alternative and complementary access services. In fact, as Mary notes, there is no single WAN technology that effectively meets every single requirement to connect all enterprise applications and all locations.
The new enterprise WAN encompasses multiple network access technologies connecting locations to support the variation of security, bandwidths and performance levels needed to meet today’s evolving Cloud application requirements. For example, a growing alternative to connecting data centers to company headquarters that requires scalable, high-bandwidth connectivity is Carrier Ethernet.
“Using an Ethernet private line connection to Cloud applications, a customer can synchronize its 6-plus terabyte data set nightly in six hours. The same synchronization process could take days over a public network connection,” highlighted Mary.
“The Hybrid WAN is a reality of connectivity today,” Mary said. “Each business location needs the right connectivity for the specific applications used within it; that may mean public Internet, MPLS, E-Line, wavelengths, or even wireless. In an age where ensuring the best customer experience is key, it all starts with the customer location and the destination they need to go to. As service providers, it is up to us to advise what the best connectivity solutions are and connect our customers to them simply, efficiently and cost-effectively.”
Global Capacity uses its innovative One Marketplace™ platform to provide visibility into service options, technologies and prices at one location or thousands of locations across the globe. Since no one provider has ubiquitous reach, a marketplace of networks provides customers the best transparency for decision-making regarding both price and performance.
Roopa Honnachari shared the results of a 2015 Frost & Sullivan Cloud Survey, which stated that 55% of companies would prefer to purchase Cloud and network services from a single provider.
“The big debate in the session was identifying this ‘single provider’ and what was meant by the word ‘buy’. There were mixed opinions from all in the room; while the consensus was that network service providers bundling Cloud computing into a product was less likely the preference, not all were ready to agree with my prediction that the trend will be network services being bundled with and procured from Cloud application providers,” commented Mary.
Cloud-based Application Service Providers (ASPs) like Cerner Corporation and IntelePeer have chosen Global Capacity to decrease operating expenses, increase productivity and gain market share. By partnering with Global Capacity for network connectivity, these application providers gain access to competitive local access rates, a redundant and secure private network powered by a team of committed and experienced network engineers, as well as quick turnaround on quotes and proactive circuit monitoring resulting in improved responsiveness and accuracy, and thus enabling the best customer experience.
“I enjoyed the GEN15 session and being part of Enterprise Day tremendously and look forward to seeing where the numbers fall next year at GEN16,” concludes Mary. “There are a lot of innovative solutions to re-architecting WAN and connecting to the Cloud applications that are no longer the exception for business networks.”
Read more about how Global Capacity is enabling connectivity to Cloud applications here.