Multicloud, hybrid cloud, public cloud, private cloud… There are a lot of things happening with clouds these days. How did we get here? What happens next? To predict the future, we must understand the past…
Over a century ago, it was common for factories and large manufacturers to use on-site power production facilities. At the time, it was less expensive to produce energy as part of plant operations than it was to lean on the relatively new and unreliable power companies. Over time, technological advances increased reliability and lowered the cost of subscription-based energy delivery, making most on-site factory power plants obsolete.
Computing power has followed a similar trend. Until relatively recently, it wasn’t technically feasible or cost-effective to host business-critical, computationally demanding applications outside of on-site data centers. With the digital transformation push and the advent of distributed platforms and virtualization, cloud-based application hosting with incredibly high computational power, scalability, and relatively low cost has become a reality. As such, companies are pushing more to the cloud to save costs and increase agility.
The Lay of the Land
Small companies and startups are often born into cloud environments. They get their email taken care of with Office 365, their web presence is entirely virtual, and they typically expand infrastructure in the cloud without ever purchasing a single physical server. The barrier to compute power is significantly lower in a cloud vs. premises cost benefit analysis, so it makes sense. However, most companies that demand incredibly high-performance compute and massive scalability are not startups or small businesses, they are existing, mature companies that have been around a long time. They have data centers filled with assets running many, if not all, of the functions of their business. “Just move everything to the cloud” is an unrealistic mantra for these firms.
Many large companies have started to take advantage of cloud services where it makes sense as part of a digital transformation strategy, focusing on things like customer journeys, disaster recovery, or storage first. However, these services aren’t technically tied to the company’s existing infrastructure. In order to tie services in the cloud to the network, the firm has to consider inter-connectivity, security, and performance. They’re adopting the hybrid cloud approach. In fact, this approach is popular. According to a recent 2017 McAfee cloud security report, hybrid cloud adoption grew 3X in the last year, increasing from 19% to 57%.
A hybrid cloud environment consists of a mix of on-premises and cloud services that are connected to allow orchestration between the each in such a way that the combined entity acts as a single network. For example, permissions and identity management extends across both the servers that reside locally and the servers or services in the cloud without the need for replication. In fact, hybrid cloud is emerging as the preferred solution for larger businesses looking to migrate to the cloud, either completely or partially.
As a byproduct of hybrid cloud adoption, firms are taking advantage of the strengths of a myriad of different providers to meet the varying needs of business services that are being developed for, or migrating to the cloud. While this multicloud strategy is emerging as a best-practice (85% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy in 2017, up from 82% in 2016), it brings added complexity into planning and connectivity. While many organizations simply manage the connections between and amongst these complex multicloud environments using traditional, change-averse networking solutions, the best are getting smart and abstracting themselves away from the complexity.
Multicloud: Our Abstraction is Your Salvation
We have created a unique, patented service network platform enabling IT teams to “spin up” private networks over the public Internet, that can connect public and private clouds over a unified platform – dramatically simplifying connectivity.
We see the huge value in hybrid cloud and particularly multicloud, and have validated that the true value of capabilities from companies like AWS, Google, Microsoft, Rackspace and others, will be unlocked when enterprises can leverage those services fully but over secure, resilient, and high performance virtual, software defined, and policy controlled networks.
The NetFoundry platform enables instant creation of cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-edge connected solutions across the Internet, using any Internet access provider, increasing business velocity while eliminating the costs of expanding private networks and infrastructure to each cloud. To learn more about our platform and our multicloud connect solution, contact us.
Broaden Your Cloud Footprint
NetFoundry enables enterprises to move applications to the cloud which they previously could not move due to insufficient security or inadequate internet performance.
- Adaptively and automatically route traffic across the best performing paths
- Proxying TCP, substituting a performant method over UDP, increases throughput by 3x to 7x compared to VPN and decreases latency
- Aggregate multiple networks into one according to policies, improving performance
A Secure, Performant, Less Costly Alternative to Direct Connections
NetFoundry uses a layered security approach, focusing on five key areas:
- Authenticate before connect – No network access until endpoint authenticates
- Least privileged access – Endpoint is only given access it needs, as defined by your centralized access policies
- Dark network – NetFoundry denies any packets which have not been authorized, making the network dark. Even if a device inside the network is vulnerable, the deficiency is masked by rejecting externally originated attempts before they can reach a vulnerable device.
- Data-in-motion protection – Data is encrypted, streams are segmented, preventing man-in-the-middle attacks
- Attack surface moves away from the business – The attack surface moves to the highly resilient and protected NetFoundry core, away from less well-protected business networks, assets, and data.