The data center is no longer the center of gravity. Today, applications are distributed across data centers, multiple public clouds, and Edge. The current network architecture cannot meet the related performance and reliability expectations. Cloud adoption continues to expand as agile development, swift deployment, and unrestricted scale become the new normal for customers across industries, sizes, and geographies.
Distributed hybrid multi-cloud deployment, decoupled cloud services from a centralized physical location can potentially address client concerns around operational control, performance, and geographical location of the services, providing fuel for a new growth engine.
This paper discusses how to approach conventional network design, including security and operations, as organizations transform to hybrid multi-cloud environments.
Multi-cloud: An effective cloud strategy
A Gartner survey revealed that 81% of organizations using the public cloud were currently working with two or more external providers. Further, if you have anything on-premises or at a co-location, this means you need at least 3 networking consoles for configuration, troubleshooting, reporting, analytics, etc. And the improper and inefficient network connectivity would lead to poor cloud application performance and major productivity challenges.
The networking world continues to evolve to meet the high cloud and as-a-service demands. Enterprises are searching for better programmability, automation, orchestration, and data center interoperability to build private clouds or cloud-based data centers.
By the end of 2022, the number of enterprise network teams using a SaaS-based console to manage data center networks will increase by more than 10 times to over 1,500, according to Gartner’s new 2020 Magic Quadrant for Data Center and Cloud Networking.
Organizations have entered a new era of application centric computing where they are quickly adopting multi-cloud architectures. They are choosing more than one public cloud service provider, and empowering end users with a choice of the best components for their use cases. It is also helping organizations avoid circumstances such as a single point of failure and vendor lock-in.
Not leveraging a multi-cloud approach makes organizations fully reliant on one public cloud service provider for all their cloud-related services, and in such cases, there is a possibility that some of the services may not offer the best value to address specific use cases.
Key reasons for adoption of Multi-cloud architecture
Choice of service
No single cloud service provider poses the best set of services to meet all the requirements of an organization. However, a multi-cloud environment allows enterprises to select the best service from multiple vendors for their specific use cases.
Reduced vendor lock-in
A multi-cloud environment allows enterprises to choose the best service from different cloud service providers delivering to their specific requirements. Empowering organizations to choose services from multiple vendors will eventually help them not only to distribute workloads across multiple providers but also reduce vendor-specific dependency.
Latency plays a crucial role while deciding the cloud strategy. Choosing a service and infrastructure closer to users will offer better performance. When an organization plans for multi-region deployment of an application to provide a uniform and seamless user experience, a multi-cloud strategy empowers them to choose the closest services and infrastructure from multiple providers.
Improved disaster recovery
Multi-cloud environments help organizations to improve the management of their disaster recovery by adding the flexibility to choose redundant servers from different cloud providers. A multi-cloud arrangement allows replicas of applications in two or more clouds. In case of downtime in one cloud, all relevant requests can be redirected to the applications hosted in the other cloud. This arrangement can also be extended to multiple regions to achieve greater resiliency.
Challenges of Multi-cloud
While multi-cloud deployment becomes the new normal, there are some challenges that organizations face at the beginning of their journey -
Figure 1: Top five network challenges in modern multi-cloud environments
Network requirements for evolving multi-cloud environments
Organizations need to recognize that in order to successfully migrate and optimize applications and workloads across
on-premises locations and public clouds, new network architectures will be required. Specifically, a network architecture, that facilitates distribution of applications while maintaining security, configuration policies and ensuring performance, will be essential.
To be successful, organizations should partner with providers who deliver:
Ideal multi-cloud network architecture
Organizations adopt different public cloud and hybrid cloud environments to build their IT infrastructure to leverage larger benefits such as flexibility, performance, agility, and cost savings. However, the major bottleneck occurs while interconnecting workloads scattered across on-premises data center and multiple public clouds.
The need of today is an application-aware architecture that offers consistent network services across all technology silos and specifies service details that are fundamentally decoupled from the underlying infrastructure, allowing them to be applied through policy translation administered dynamically by the centralized controller with complete visibility of business applications.
The key components of an application-aware cloud-ready network architecture are:
Figure2: Software defined Multi-Cloud Network architecture
Software-deﬁned multi-cloud network solution beneﬁts
The software defined multicloud network solution enables flexibility to address changing needs by adopting “cloud-aware” network architecture with following benefits:
Wipro’s multi-cloud network services
Wipro’s highly skilled team of network experts helps customers in their cloud journey with consulting, planning and designing, transformation and management services covering the end-to-end lifecycle.
The right path to multi-cloud networking
At the heart of the network paradigm is software-defined networking that helps automate network workflows and consistently maintain a healthy information security posture. The other aspects of network transformation include increasing network bandwidth utilization and establishing flexible but security-conscious controls that support both on-premises and public cloud workloads. Wipro's Software Defined Multi-Cloud Network Solution can deliver secure and simplified cloud connectivity with single pane of glass network management and visibility.
There are plenty of ways that your enterprise can benefit from adopting an ideal multi-cloud network. To learn more about how Wipro can help in your transformation journey, connect with us.
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About the Author
Hareesh P V
Senior Solution Architect, iCORE - CIS, Wipro Ltd.
Hareesh has 18 years of experience in the field of information technology, networking infrastructure architecting, and technical delivery. He specializes in software defined, traditional and cloud networking areas. Currently, he leads the cloud networking practice globally within Wipro’s Cloud & Infrastructure Services. He holds multiple industry leading certifications, which include Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Routing & Switching Lab Certification, AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate and Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert.