There has been a steep increase in cloud adoption, both by private and public enterprises, for hosting their workloads. Cloud players have made this possible by providing viable solutions to the consumers, who pay only as they use.
Hybrid cloud deployments are gaining traction as they deliver the security of private cloud along with the flexibility of public cloud. This computing environment that allows data and applications to be shared between public cloud and private cloud, demands new standards of compliance and standardization of network and security configurations and policies.
Traditional ways of connecting the cloud and on-premise datacenter involves various modes like configuring Virtual Private Network (VPN)-native networking constructs. This model though successful, requires skill, effort and involves constant monitoring of the tunnel, which has dependency on firewall/router on the premises. There are cloud networking only solutions which are best suited for multi-cloud networking and help in extending connectivity between various clouds. However, the policy and control remain local to the various clouds and not hybrid for cloud deployments.
Software defined networking (SDN), which offers an application-centric approach in data center networking in contrast to a network-centric approach, is looked upon as a game changer in hybrid cloud networks. It enables the elasticity and responsiveness required in hybrid cloud computing.
Connecting to cloud: The current models and the challenges
Networking for cloud connectivity can be achieved multiple ways. Connectivity via the standard way involves building and operating IPSEC tunnels from cloud to on premises. Figure 1 depicts the standard way of extending reachability from on-premises to public clouds.