There are no real technical differences between cloud connectivity portfolios and traditional data connectivity
Public, private and hybrid cloud solutions are supported by different connectivity options from shared to dedicated infrastructure
Connectivity is largely provided on-net from operators, but other players such as collocation houses may offer a range of options through third party relations
When considering how to connect your business to cloud solutions, including IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, there are a wide variety of options. If the services can be supported by best-effort, then public Internet with IPSec can suffice with the benefit of a low-cost base. However, a private cloud will give more security and resilience and can be provisioned by your service provider via a break out from a corporate IP/MPLS VPN solution to the carrier’s MPLS network and over an NNI to the cloud provider. That’s assuming of course that a corporate IP VPN solution is already in place, because building one from scratch is not a low-cost route. Continue reading “Connecting to Your Cloud Provider – Internet, Direct Connect or Use the IP VPN?”→
Monitoring the health of virtual infrastructure, for example on-demand computing resources and business-critical applications, running across hybrid clouds is a challenge
New generation cloud-aware and software management developers such as Intigua are emerging to help simplify unchartered waters of virtualizing servers, networks, and storage infrastructure
A lot of enterprises do not have even basic applications performance management and monitoring tools in place, especially where the applications in use work just fine on a best effort traffic basis, so applications that are non-latency dependant, and non-critical to business function or production. The contrast to this is where applications are seen as business-critical and in such cases the organization’s IT department is most likely to invest in an applications performance management (APM) solution from a range of choices. Service providers have made progress to meet the need for visibility on the WAN for business critical applications they are running on behalf of clients with the result all the major carriers offering data networks services proffer a backing range of APM solutions for customers. The same is nearly true for cloud-based service, but not quite! The industry is pretty good at monitoring and managing performance of physical network and infrastructure, including in the WAN. There are plenty of legacy premises-based choices, and software for management, but the cloud-aware and virtualized management layer for multiple IT resources sitting on distributed and shared cloud platforms is more of a work in progress. Continue reading “Monitoring and Managing Business Applications in Hybrid Clouds: Technical Elegance or Road-kill?”→
The market early optimism towards cloud may have been tempered due to skeptics and the overuse of ‘cloud washing’ campaigns (i.e., everything in the cloud, attached to the cloud, or solved by a cloud of some sort)
Enterprises remain optimistic though as many have embraced some form of cloud with measured success and asked good questions about what to do next, moving forward, and leveraging the experiences and concept proofs others have employed
Last week’s Interop show was a success by many measures. It offered users and vendors the opportunity to interact on critical topics. The track sessions were reasonably attended, though no one had to fight for seats at this event. There were few logistical issues, due in large part to the efforts by UBM TechWeb, the company behind the Interop magic (and a great crew running the show). Continue reading “Interop New York 2012: A Variably Cloudy Perspective”→
Software-defined networking (SDN) is a massive, all-encompassing concept which spans campus, data center, WAN, and carrier backbone networks (pretty much every type of networking infrastructure imaginable) and is being touted by some as capable of solving nearly every networking issue that has plagued us for the last 20 years; and yes, it does make coffee in the morning for you (no, not really).
Eventually, SDN may do most of the things claimed, but getting there will take a long time and some IT fundamentals and best practices will remain critical moving forward.
The OpenFlow protocol and (more recently) SDN have been discussed and put forth as solutions to complex, hierarchical, legacy architectures that were built up over years to solve the complex performance and management needs of enterprises and service providers alike. Yes, the technology for each type of deployment was different (MPLS vs. OSPF vs. multicast, etc.), based on various criteria, but regardless of the technology, each vertical or segment executed on best practices learned over years of (sometimes painful) experience. The result was a set of processes and instructions, if you will, that each IT or production environment team could leverage as they looked to new protocols or ports or architectures to avoid the same pitfalls encountered before. SDN promises to eliminate the need for several of these, but a few still demand strict adherence or consideration. Continue reading “SDN Market Frenzy: Your Network Best Practices Remain Important!”→