What is a Cloud-ready Network and why should it form the foundation of your Cloud Strategy?


Enterprise Networks, Public Cloud

Cloud computing is shaping the architecture of application delivery. Enterprises are concerned about managing their costs, and yet security, performance and reliability remain absolute necessities for an efficient business.

Application requirements are pushing organisations to adopt a hybrid strategy. This will enable them to consume applications from a range of platforms, and as a result, the demands on the network have changed, creating a need for the Cloud-ready network.

However, as someone who spends a large majority of time speaking to customers, I’ve found that while organisations are focusing on migrating their applications, they’re often neglecting the network.

Although we’ve discussed SDN, and more broadly, NetOps 2.0 in relation to it’s potential to transform the network, we are still finding many organisations are apprehensive and aren’t quite ready to take the plunge into the unknown. NetOps 2.0, requires organisations to adopt a significant skills shift and embrace a huge cultural change, but with the network having remained pretty much unchanged for the last 20 years, this is clearly a colossal ask of any organisation.

The other concern is that the businesses that do start to lead the way are likely to experience the pain of the ongoing development and inevitable snags that accompany new technologies and practices. It’s a catch 22 really. We need organisations to boldly step forward and lead the way but most are reluctant to be the first. But the simple fact is, we need to move past that fear because the only way businesses can operate efficiently in the cloud is when the platforms and network are truly aligned.

 So what exactly is a Cloud-Ready Network?

No network means no cloud. Without networks, users cannot access their cloud services. Without networks, applications, data, and users cannot move between clouds. Without networks, the infrastructure components that must work together to create a cloud, can’t operate.

 But by architecting a cloud ready network, organisations will be able to: 

  • Embed security across all networking layers, including network access, distribution, core and edge.
  • Identify applications and make traffic decisions in real time for the best user experience.
  • Access hybrid private/public circuit based connections – to provide internet connectivity from the branch to access cloud based services while corporate traffic traverses the traditional and scalable private corporate network.
  • Utilise dual carriers to increase service levels and remove risk – achieve an always available, improved user experience with no single point of failure.
  • Adding value over the top in automation and bespoking, through software and design

 

So how are ANS building the cloud-ready network?

As an end-to-end Cloud Services Provider, we understand the journey that data takes from the cloud all the way to the end user device. With over 20 years’ experience in building networks, we have honed our expertise is designing open, resilient, secure and scalable networks, that are not only flexible, but also automated. 

We’re also a multi-carrier service provider, which means we take a more resilient approach in order to create bespoke connectivity solutions while still using the Tier 1 infrastructure our customers expect. ANS has their own core network which gives us the ability to integrate the large carrier infrastructure into our own network. This carries multiple benefits for the customer who will experience much shorter change SLAs, higher grade performance and resiliency while still being able to rely on a traditional tier 1 core.

 

Posted by Helen Thomas