24 November 2020

Interconnectivity: accelerating the ability to change

By Sean Rinas, Head of Network Operations

Albert Einstein once said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change”. When a new coronavirus manifested into a global pandemic early in 2020, the capacity and connectivity requirements for many organisations were drastically altered almost overnight.

Nine months in, there’s good news and bad news on this front for all of us as data centre service providers and users. The good news is that we learned a lot more about the value of resilience planning, Multi-Cloud architecture, optimised interconnected solutions and new ways of doing business.

We learned that unforeseen change is a great risk to business continuity. When it comes to mitigating these threats there is no substitute for infrastructure, connectivity and services that provide scalability options that can be implemented at haste. This is why “flexible” and “agile” have joined “unprecedented” and “you’re on mute” as the most used words of this calendar year.

It’s not over yet

The bad news? While the COVID-19 crisis has been largely curbed in Australia, it’s impact on our economy will endure and IT teams will continue to be the frontline troops attacking organisational transformation in response.

With the health crisis raging in other parts of the world and borders still closed, we’re not out of the woods yet. We really don’t know what is going to happen next, so it is imperative that our digital platforms and interconnected architecture is ready for any scenario.

Digital strategy and data management are more important than ever because optimisation here is the key to reducing costs, creating efficiencies, improving performance and transitioning to new ways of doing business.
This means that continuing to invest in an interconnected future built around efficient, large scale collection, storage, analysis and sharing of data is more important than ever.

Much of this investment and strategic prioritisation is about creating the ability to adjust critical systems and infrastructure deployments to address change in real time. We have seen this year that being interconnected to local public services such as the cloud, is not only paramount to business continuity in the present but also the ideal platform to facilitate adaptation to a less certain future.

Supply challenges, cloud options

Challenges in hardware supply chains are ongoing and have also contributed to rising demand for the flexible, scalable services facilitated by public cloud platforms such as those available from AWS, Google, Microsoft, Oracle and Alibaba.

Even before COVID-19, the growth in cloud services was phenomenal. A Boston Consulting Group report from October 2019 found that the Australian public cloud services market was worth $4.6 billion per year with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24%. At the time the BCG report was published, public cloud represented 9% of the total IT spend in the country.

You can be sure that those numbers are obsolete as the result of this year’s global pandemic. At NEXTDC, we have seen significant uptick in the deployment of colocated critical infrastructure that is directly interconnected to the world’s leading loud platforms such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google and Oracle. Meanwhile, cloud-based collaboration services such as Zoom, Slack and Microsoft Teams are now firmly embedded in operational workflows.

Going direct to the cloud

As demand for cloud capacity increases, the cost, performance and efficiency benefits of being direct interconnected to them become ever more compelling. Prior to 2020, many organisations were still using public infrastructure to connect to the clouds that they now need more than ever.

The current landscape has forced the need for an urgent rethink of hybrid architecture and Multi-Cloud connectivity. Risk management, redundancy, uptime and disaster recovery have never been more important. While this represented a short-term challenge earlier in the year, it has proven to be a pivotal moment that is sure to introduce a range of long-term benefits as organisations adapt to new digital platforms.

AXON: Scale, speed and performance

At the heart of adapting to the positive outcomes of this new world is direct interconnectivity from private infrastructure to public cloud infrastructure, where resources are immediately available at the scale, speed and performance required.

This is precisely what NEXTDC’s AXON connectivity platform is designed to do. It enables direct connectivity to multiple clouds, partners and suppliers through a resilient, secure network that helps cut down on physical interfaces, thus reducing costs.

Being on AXON means you instantly have scalable, high performance access to the entire NEXTDC footprint which houses Australia’s largest and network rich ICT ecosystem of >640 partners and 10 public cloud on-ramps.

There are many benefits from using direct connectivity to optimise Multi Cloud architectures and increasingly distributed environments. They respond quickly to changes in demand, competition profiles or environmental conditions where agility is crucial and they enable organisations to be more flexible in the way they accelerate strategy when new systems, people, solutions or urgent DevOps workloads need to be quickly added.

Next level network consistency

As demand for IT infrastructure increased, our customers said they experienced performance degradation where they were using public carrier networks to connect to commercial cloud services. By directly interconnecting to these services from within the NEXTDC ecosystem, physically diverse interfaces provided a multiplying effect on the uptime and performance of their workloads. .

This performance improvement comes courtesy of having a more direct path to cloud, accentuated further by their infrastructure being located as closely in proximity as possible to the public clouds. This private and directly interconnected architecture results in less network hops, and therefore fewer potential points of failure and drastically reduced latency. At the same time, private and secure connections relieve pressure from the public infrastructure which causes a cascading benefit for other services delivered through the internet.

If we can help you advance your flexible and resilient interconnectivity strategy to the platforms, people and organisations that keep your business moving in the right direction, please reach out. We’re here to help.