Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Saturday, November 18, 2017
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Multi-Cloud Network Targets Bottlenecks 

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As the embrace of multi-cloud strategies gathers steam and enterprises struggle to decide how to spread IT assets across the cloud and their own datacenters, new tools are emerging to help connect multi- and hybrid cloud installations.

Market watchers have noted that the rise of multi-cloud strategies in which assets are distributed among on-premise and cloud platforms along with different cloud providers, has added another layer of complexity. One consideration is how to efficiently divvy up assets between cloud, colocation and on-premise computing resources, observers note.

One agnostic approach designed to ease the transition to multi-cloud deployments focuses on providing automated and direct connections between cloud platforms and providers. Billed the first mesh network for multi-cloud deployments, the new framework unveiled Monday (May 15) by cloud connectivity specialist Console Connect is intended to automate direct connections between clouds and other IT assets.

"Multi-cloud strategies have been held back by a legacy connectivity model," Teri Francis, Console Connects' chief product officer, noted in a statement. "It’s a ‘hub-and-spoke’ system that forces workloads to be transmitted from one cloud, through private or public connections to the enterprise, and then back up to another cloud environment."

As enterprises look to implement multi-cloud strategies, the Bay Area company bills its mesh network dubbed CloudNexus as providing "direct any-to-any connectivity" between clouds. By automating the direct connection process, Cloud Connect claims it can bypass slow, unsecured public Internet connections by spinning up dedicated connections to speed cloud migrations and workload mobility.

The company sees an opening as more enterprises begin shifting corporate data—the vast majority of which is currently stored in private datacenters—to the cloud. Its value proposition is helping to create hybrid cloud deployments that bypass the Internet with its mesh network used to link private cloud and datacenters with public clouds.

The company also claims to take a key premise of the the multi-cloud movement—avoiding vendor lock-in—a step further by offering a "datacenter neutral" interconnection approach rather than limiting users to a single cloud or colocation provider. The cloud connectivity specialist said it has more than 170 network installations in more than 20 countries.

The current "hub-and-spoke" connectivity model "increases latency and complicates the management of multi-cloud workloads," Francis noted in a blog post. "That challenge is further compounded if the connections between the enterprise and its clouds are being handled through unpredictable, unreliable and expensive public Internet gateways."

In one example, Console Connect said workloads could be shifted from a public cloud provider to a private cloud across a private connection. Those direct connections also make workloads deployments more resilient so they could "failover" during a service outage.

Recent incidents such as the crash of Amazon Web Services' S3 cloud storage service were seized upon by by multi-cloud proponents as a wakeup call for adding redundancy to enterprise IT operations. The new cloud interconnect platform also seeks to address networking issues that have made multi-cloud strategies harder to implement.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 25 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as Executive Editor for Electronic Engineering Times.

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