Written by Adam Gardner - Head of Product
Successfully, and cost effectively maximising value from cloud is vastly aided by reducing complexity and improving the flexibility and agility of your interconnected architecture. It's critical to seizing opportunities that accompany high performance, secure, and resilient infrastructure.
With the explosion of Hybrid and Multi-Cloud deployments, there’s an array of methods that can be used to connect your digital infrastructure. Often when talking to our customers, what I’m hearing more frequently is that the number one objective is finding a solution that enables them to achieve the right balance of flexibility, scalability, agility, security, and performance.
Interconnection is the most valuable conversation when it comes to building an elastic cloud enterprise and executing an effective cloud migration plan to meet these objectives.
Options equal greater value
As data volumes surge, organisations need ways to streamline the myriad of complex digital transformation strategies. Deciphering which architecture is best to position clouds, teams, data, and critical applications as close to each other as possible is critical, as workloads and data sprawl.
Software Defined Networks (SDNs) have created disruptive service delivery models much better suited to evolving business priorities and ever-increasing transformation complexities. Often the requirement to scale and adapt extremely quickly becomes a core element of success, as we’ve seen over the past 18 months.
Organisations that are equipped to adapt and scale rapidly, are the ones who achieve the greatest success. SDN-style interconnection can also surface greater cost efficiencies.
True cost of cloud interconnections
Each new direct connection to a cloud platform comes with its own time-metered cost, plus additional fees based on traffic volumes. Exact costs vary from platform to platform, but that revenue model is largely standardised across the Hyperscale cloud providers.
Traditionally, to physically connect you could commission a dedicated point-to-point link from your physical infrastructure to the cloud infrastructure platform selected. Indeed, sometimes this is exactly the approach you should take. In fact, we take our motto “Where the cloud lives” seriously and invest heavily in our partner ecosystem for this very reason.
Yet, this isn’t always the most effective approach. For Multi-Cloud environments, specific public platforms are often selected because of their relative price and suitability to individual workloads. Interconnecting via traditional physical Cross Connects can mean there are multiple rack units, fibre links and maintenance schedules to be managed.
On paper, each of these individual services may be cheaper than commissioning a port onto a virtual SDN platform such as AXON. However, the value of interconnection platforms like AXON materialises when you provision multiple services between any two points on the network through that single port; or redundant ports for those seeking high availability for mission critical workloads.
Why choose one, when you can have it all!
The ability to access every public and major private cloud in Australia, and AXON’s entire data centre network in itself bolsters the value of your strategy. Our customers are often surprised (ok, delighted) to hear that AXON extends beyond NEXTDC facilities into other facilities to truly enable comprehensive access to any cloud or IT service, anywhere.
The key enabler for Multi-Cloud is virtual interconnectivity, an architecture that’s inherently more flexible and scalable. Being able to spin up new virtual instances and deploy workloads quickly, cost-effectively, and securely – then terminate them when no longer needed, only paying for what you use is what cloud is all about.
The same rule should apply to the underlying interconnection strategy. If you physically connect every time you want to deploy a new workload, your time to operation could be unnecessarily extended, adding additional service management complexity on top.
As a layer 2 service, performance is on par with direct Cross Connects and with no traffic interrogation taking place the security of each connection is assured. Self-provisioning all aspects of your service also ensures you have complete control and visibility over every connection.
When fully utilised, the cost savings from leveraging a nation-wide virtual connectivity platform that accesses the major cloud platforms, ICT services providers and data centres across the country stack up fast when you factor in the sundry costs. These include Cross Connect fees, point-to-point, and in-rack cabling costs, reduced in-rack space requirements for associated network equipment and the costs of remote hands services to have new ports patched into a rack.
More options, less Capex
Today, everything seems to be urgent. New models for digital connectivity are designed to provide faster turnaround time for the provisioning of services.
When it comes to interconnectivity, requirements vary for every environment, so it makes sense to retain complete flexibility in how connections are made with one eye kept on making sure you optimise network resilience.
For network managers, managing complexity, risk and compliance requires holistic visibility into every point-to-point circuit across the organisation. They need to easily visualise who is using services and the purpose they serve. Only when you have this level of control can you start to optimise the cost and performance of infrastructure. SDNs introduce this ease of management and facilitates the ability to make changes on demand.
Reach out to our team to understand how an interconnection-first strategy will help you work smarter, not harder, when selecting the path that drives maximum value from your cloud investments.