What is the future of your network in the cloud era?
We all understood what we needed from our networks in the age of interconnected sites, and adding colocation facilities didn't change their fundamental nature. What's different now that we have an increasing amount of critical infrastructure in the public cloud? In the pre-cloud world, we would make as much use of the public internet as possible, adding secure VPN overlays as needed. We would only pay extra for secure 'private' circuits when we needed performance and uptime guarantees, or to meet compliance targets. A lot of the time, this was driven by the need to prioritize voice or video traffic, provided by on-premise services. Peering was something that was best left to our ISPs. As services migrate offsite, several considerations become clear: - End to end security is critical. Many of our applications manage their own security, but we don't always understand the full stack of apps that our organization is using. Providing secure transports to key operational centres is a best practice. Many options remain, from pervasive 'cloud firewalls' that protect your application layer and secure a remote workforce, to conventional VPN tunnels terminated in the cloud. - Last mile performance should be optimized. Downtime isn't an option, despite most services being hosted elsewhere. Bonding last mile connections with SDWAN is an excellent strategy to make the network resilient to outages or bursty usage (which is all usage). - The middle mile is now a part of the plan. Physical connections (cross-connects) within data centres and colocation facilities can vastly improve the performance and reliability of critical traffic, by shortening the path to your workloads. Virtual connections can be added to your architecture temporarily to accelerate critical projects or seasonal demands. The entire network has experienced the same change that allowed for the on-demand use of shared resources known as the cloud.