A recent survey found that 92% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy, and 80% have a hybrid cloud strategy.¹ The high adoption rate of hybrid IT says a lot about its benefits. IT decision-makers move some workloads to cloud to take advantage of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, but they realize that not every application can live in the cloud. Utilizing a mix of on-premises data centers, colocation and cloud (or multiple cloud providers) works well for many companies.
So, what's the next step to optimize a hybrid infrastructure and value from your investment?
Connect directly to your cloud providers.
What is a direct cloud interconnect, a native onramp, as it’s sometimes called? It's a private connection between your dedicated infrastructure and your cloud providers, enabled by a Physical Layer 1 or Virtual Layer 2 cross connect within a data center. Physical Layer 1 cross connects are traditional point-to-point connections from your service provider to your demarcation or patch-panel in your data-center environment. Every connection to every provider in your environment will consume a single cross connect. Connecting to multiple clouds, multiple Internet Service Providers and a few more off-premises locations will quickly inflate the total cost of operation.
Enter Virtual Layer 2 cross connects. A Virtual Layer 2 cross connect allows for a one-to-many connection. A single virtual circuit can connect to multiple cloud service providers, route to multiple service locations and connect to all cloud service providers in a data center’s ecosystem – all through a single port. This dramatically simplifies your network architecture and reduces connectivity costs to a single device or redundant device pair.
Let’s recap five hybrid IT priorities that direct connection supports.
Latency is an important metric and a KPI for many enterprises. Unacceptable lag times harm revenue and relationships. Pages that take a long time to load or a jittery streaming experience can quickly irritate users, who then leave a site or application for good.
Connecting to the cloud via the internet is usually not the fastest option. Packets compete for bandwidth in the data routing hierarchy model, where real-time video and voice trump data as they are passed to different networks and servers. How fast is a direct connection? The CoreSite Open Cloud Exchange® (OCX) provides 5M to 100G connection options, allowing you to specify bandwidth to match services and workload requirements. As an aside, the OCX is offered on a month-to-month basis, instead of the long-term commitment model found with most carriers. The OCX provides a secure, Virtual Layer 2 cross connect management platform. You can use the OCX to connect to cloud providers and service providers, reduce your Amazon S3 storage costs, execute secure backups or simply establish a direct connection to a partner or a bare metal service provider.
The internet is unpredictable and unreliable. Global internet outages were up 9% in the second week of 2022, and U.S. internet interruptions surged 36%.² Spikes in demand for bandwidth and variations in network capabilities add up to performance inconsistency. Direct connections bypass the internet to ensure far less variability – and help maximize employee productivity as well as customer experiences.
Hybrid IT expands an organization’s infrastructure fabric and attack surface, increasing the possibility of security incidents and breaches. Cloud connection via the internet is less defensible than a direct interconnection, which limits the points of network access. Point-to-point connectivity either Physical or Virtual is a security advantage, and so is the ability of customers or colocation providers to integrate cybersecurity solutions (e.g. managed firewall, DDoS mitigation, managed detection, etc.) from companies within a colocation provider’s connected ecosystem.
A hybrid IT infrastructure that’s difficult to manage defeats its purpose. Complexity is not your friend, no matter what you’re trying to accomplish. When you connect directly, you don’t need to rely on network providers for connections for each cloud provider. Other advantages of direct cloud connection from a colocation provider like CoreSite include:
A single, interactive service delivery platform makes it easy to order new services, track move-ins, view data center intelligence (like power consumption, temperature and humidity) and request technical support.
Moving massive amounts of data is expensive. The costs of WAN and the internet usage can be significant for companies that require private connections. A data center colocation facility’s cross connect fee is far lower than the cost of redundant WAN connections or scaling your ISP to support connectivity requirements. Direct connection reduces your networking costs and helps you cut costs in other ways:
Direct cloud connection reduces IT complexity, and it enables your business to reach objectives for performance, reliability, security and cost – all with the added bonus of saving money.
Native onramps between your colocation space and your cloud providers can help you take the next step in your digital transformation journey. Here’s a complete list of Cloud Service Providers in the CoreSite ecosystem.
Ready for that next step? Get in touch with us to schedule a tour or set up an Open Cloud Exchange demo and discussion of how to accelerate your digital transformation.
Note: This post originally appeared as “5 Reasons Why You Should Directly Connect to Your Clouds.” It has been updated to provide recent details about direct connection advantages and CoreSite’s Open Cloud Exchange.
*Costs savings are based on CoreSite cost comparisons using publicly available and private information and/or CoreSite customer reported costs savings and may not be indicative of the costs savings that may be experienced by every customer that switches to the applicable CoreSite service.
1. Flexera, 2021 State of the Cloud Report.
2. S&P Global Market Intelligence, https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/global-internet-outages-up-9-in-2nd-week-of-2022-68448806
Aaron has 20+ years of experience providing data center solutions for small- to medium-sized business and enterprise customers.Read more from this author