How European Providers are Leveraging the Network in Cloud Delivery

John Marcus
John Marcus

Summary Bullets:

  • When public cloud computing services first emerged several years ago, little focus was placed on the network, with the initial value proposition leveraging the Internet for connectivity between virtual machines hosted by providers and their end users. Flexibility, availability, and affordability drove early market adoption by user groups which place a high value on those service attributes.
  • Fast-forward to 2013, and widespread adoption of cloud is coming closer to reality. Widely felt concerns about security and stability are being addressed in infrastructure and software as a service (IaaS and SaaS) solutions being rolled out by network service providers especially. Increasingly, service providers are positioning the network as a core component of their cloud solutions, citing advantages from managed connectivity to integrated network functions.

Cloud based applications are only as strong as the connectivity they run over. The network-centric cloud is increasingly being positioned against the ‘best effort’ server-centric cloud model because it delivers network-based security, strong SLAs and enterprise-class performance.

Globally, providers like AT&T have emphasized the “network enabled cloud” for some time, while Verizon is the latest to use its managed network to address performance, management, and security issues in public and hybrid cloud services. In Europe, Interoute’s VDC IaaS service, for example, leverages the fabric of the network to create virtual data centers that integrate computing power with network resources. Its API automates the MPLS core, allowing cloud computing functions to leverage network resources in real time. Uniquely, the service can create any relationship between the VLAN of the computing and the WAN equivalent on the MPLS network (i.e., the VRF). For the customer, this means any physical data center architecture, corporate IT environment or major SaaS platform can be replicated automatically, online and in real time, and with exactly the same level of performance and security that is in place with a dedicated capability. Interoute is working on additional integration of network and compute which will allow any IP address to become part of the enterprise WAN, enjoying VDC-hosted IT services globally. Continue reading “How European Providers are Leveraging the Network in Cloud Delivery”