The cloud is consistently growing in popularity amongst enterprises, with many relying on it for their data and applications. It can provide best-of-breed functions, ease of access and use, scalability, and flexibility, making it a solid choice for enterprises.
According to Statista, the overall worldwide public cloud computing market is expected to reach $495 billion in 2022. When delving into multi-cloud in particular, Global Market Insights found that the multi-cloud management market size accounted for over $5 billion in 2021 and is expected to register above 25% CAGR from 2022 to 2030.
Despite the benefits of the cloud, some enterprises run the risk of losing control of their cloud investments. A multi-cloud strategy helps to avoid vendor lock-in but can also create an increasingly complex IT environment that is hard to manage. When enterprises are considering adopting a multi-cloud strategy, they also need to consider the various cost elements that come with it, including connectivity.
It is important for enterprises to be aware of the challenges they may face during their cloud journeys, as well as the different technologies they can implement to ensure they are not overpaying for their connectivity.
6 Common Cloud Challenges
When an enterprise is embarking or expanding on its cloud journey, it is helpful to know about the aspects of networking that can be challenging and result in both direct and indirect costs:
1) Budgeting – Most cloud providers impose egress charges, which are where businesses must pay to retrieve or push data out. At large volumes, these data charges can easily add up and become difficult to budget for.
2) Security – Different cloud services require different approaches to security, and becoming an expert across multiple environments is a huge challenge.
3) Complexity – Using cloud connectivity services can be complex, especially when businesses utilize multiple clouds. There is not much consistency between clouds, which can pose challenges for enterprises with skill gaps in their IT teams.
4) Poor Performance – Using the internet to access mission-critical cloud services can get crowded. These public gateways can often experience downtime, which is out of an organization's control. This results in poor performance and even outages, which badly affect the end-user experience.
5) Scalability and Deployment Issues – Traditional networks are too rigid and complex to meet growing bandwidth requirements. This causes challenges for enterprises when trying to scale their operations.
6) Network Design Issues – The traditional private WAN design backhauls cloud traffic to the HQ before sending the data to its destination, effectively tromboning the traffic. When more branch sites and apps in the cloud are added, this can become expensive.
Enterprises can face many challenges when designing a cloud-ready connectivity strategy. It is important to get it right with the help of an expert, since when done incorrectly, enterprises can experience both direct and indirect costs with poor performance and agility.
An intelligence-driven private cloud network can overcome these challenges with the security and performance needed for a successful multi-cloud journey.
Simple and Cost-Efficient Private Cloud Connectivity
To avoid overpaying for network connectivity to the cloud, enterprises need an intelligent network with multi-cloud capabilities to gain full visibility, security, scalability, and simplified management.
They should look for a provider that provides end-to-end cloud-first connectivity, with the following key components:
- Connectivity Across the Globe – Enterprises need a provider that can extend their reach on a global scale, even in hard-to-reach destinations. With a global reach from a single provider, enterprises can lower costs by increasing efficiencies and removing the need to work with multiple providers.
- Direct Cloud Connectivity – Through direct connectivity to all the leading cloud providers, enterprises can move mission-critical data securely, connect to major clouds on a single platform, increase bandwidth to meet demand, and improve user experience. It also saves egress and port costs to help maintain cost-efficiency.
- Application-Aware Connectivity – A centrally-managed platform that unifies an underlay network, overlay SD-WAN, security, routing, and WAN optimization, can securely and intelligently direct application traffic across the WAN with increased visibility — delivering a self-driving WAN that learns and adapts to the changing needs of businesses. Enterprises can retain the traditional MPLS network for mission-critical applications but use ethernet or broadband for others to save costs.
- Common Networking Deployment and Policy – Enterprises should deploy a network solution with common policies and management capabilities that integrate into all clouds. This eliminates the costly need to maintain multiple cloud network configurations.
- On-Demand Provisioning – Enterprises should look for a service provider that can provide an orchestration platform to provision and scale on-demand. This can help to save costs by providing simple scalability without costly infrastructure upgrades.
Bringing Intelligence into Enterprise Networks
Today’s geographically dispersed enterprises can rely on intelligent WAN solutions to realize the transformation promise of cloud computing. It can also help to lower capital and operational costs and provide huge performance increases without sacrificing security.
With the right provider and tailored solutions, enterprises can maximize the value of their cloud and digital investments with a modern WAN architecture and digitally transform their network to move forward with confidence.
Mark Daley is Director, Digital Strategy & Business Development at Epsilon Telecommunications.