The hype was real. Hybrid IT is here. Nearly 70% of enterprises now leverage a hybrid solution1. This makes sense as more and more companies transition to cloud, but realize that not every application can live there. Utilizing a mix of cloud (or multiple cloud providers) and owned servers is the logical state for most companies right now. So, what's the next step to optimize that infrastructure?
According to Gartner, by 2019, 30% of enterprises will connect to their cloud providers via direct connect solutions, up from 5% in 2017 - that's a 600% shift in only two years2. What is a direct cloud interconnect? Simple. It's a private connection between your dedicated infrastructure and your public cloud provider - often served up as a cross connect within a colocation data center. Direct cloud interconnections provide a myriad of benefits. Let's walk through the "Big 5".
The Problem: Hybrid IT creates a larger infrastructure fabric and connecting to clouds via the public Internet is not the most defensible solution. Expanding the field of battle inherently increases the possibility for more security breaches.
The Solution: Connecting to cloud providers via direct interconnection limits the points of network access. Point-to-point connectivity in itself is a security advantage, but also keep in mind that colocation providers can integrate solutions from cybersecurity service providers to strengthen defense.
The Problem: Public Internet is not always the fastest option. Packets get passed along different servers and compete with who-knows-who for bandwidth. Latency is no longer just an important metric to entertainment and financial companies, but now it's a KPI for most enterprises. When 48% of users uninstall or stop using an app if it regularly runs slowly3, it's more important than ever to optimize your performance.
The Solution: Intuitively, you'd assume that a direct connection would be faster. But how much? In a head-to-head speed test, direct connections saw an average 44% reduction in latency vs. the public Internet.
3. Reduced Costs
The Problem: For companies that require private connections, the costs of WAN and the public Internet can be significant. Also, it costs a lot money to move big data. Data egress rates vary according to your location and cloud provider service plans, but can often creep.
The Solution: The bottom line is that a cross connect fee is far lower than the cost for redundant WAN connections or scaling your ISP to support your connectivity requirements. And, not only does connecting directly reduce your networking costs, it can reduce your egress rates as well. Cloud providers incentivize their direct interconnection products by reducing egress rates. For example, AWS offers 60%-70% reduced data egress rates for those leveraging AWS Direct Connect. As an added bonus, the consistent MRC is much easier to manage.
*For example figures, sample invoices and charts on cost savings, download this eBook.
The Problem: The public Internet is unpredictable and unreliable. Spikes in demand and variations in network capabilities add up to performance inconsistency.
The Solution: Direct connections provide the high reliability of a private network. In the head-to-head speed test mentioned above, direct interconnections averaged 60% less variability than the public Internet. This should guarantee the 100% uptime that is so important in many industries.
5. Ease of Doing Business
The Problem: No one said managing Hybrid IT would be easy. You love the advantages, but the complexity it adds to managing vendors and figuring out where applications and any issues live, and the opportunity for problematic shadow IT projects give you a real headache.
The Solution: With direct cloud interconnections, you no longer need to rely on network providers for connections for each cloud provider. You also have access to a more diverse supplier ecosystem that can centralize resources to support rapid access to the public cloud. You'll have better visibility into operations and applications. Connecting directly can even help improve unified communication and collaboration services, which are increasingly critical to productivity for enterprises.
The drive for digital business saw the emergence of Hybrid IT. Unfortunately, it's not easy coordinate. But direct connection technology is emerging as an answer to this IT complexity, and it sets new standards for agility, performance and reliability. If you're looking to better align technology investments to your business strategy, think about how a dedicated connection between your company and your cloud providers could help you take the ever-important next step towards digital transformation.