2017 is on the horizon and with it businesses are placing digital transformation at the forefront of their corporate strategy. Cloud is readily seen as the enabler behind digital transformation as firms look to connect the dots between people, information and systems, but this is often hampered by poor connectivity.
According to Mark Russell, President of Europe, Global Cloud Xchange (GCX), enterprises are seeking to address this by sourcing alternative cloud connectivity solutions that offer more consistent and reliable performance than the public Internet.
Research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) indicates that digital transformation is becoming a critical conversation within the boardrooms of UK enterprises. Data surveying 250 senior IT and business decision-makers polled, revealed that 71 per cent of firms either already have a strategy in place or are in the process of implementing one. Further evidence to support this comes from analyst house IDC, which also revealed that by the end of 2017, two-thirds of CEOs from Global 2000 companies would have digital transformation at the centre of their corporate strategy.
One of the chief beneficiaries from whose embracing digital transformation will undoubtedly be the cloud computing providers. Increasingly, mission critical applications such as virtual desktops and customer relationship management (CRM), are migrating to the cloud, alongside big data and Internet of Things (IoT) business processes.
While the infrastructure of the public cloud environment is in place to support firms, Russell suggests that the struggle faced in unlocking its true potential comes from the connectivity itself:
“Digital technologies are radically transforming the business arena and cloud is the enabler which is allowing this to happen. Increasingly, more and more businesses are migrating critical applications into large-scale public clouds, where they are able to reap the benefits of a more cost effective and flexible IT infrastructure. But what those firms often don’t realise is while these cloud infrastructures are structurally sound, they are often let down by the connectivity provided into them via the public internet.
“The internet is first and foremost a best efforts network. While an organisation might not feel the effects in accessing applications locally, the strain becomes a lot more noticeable as the network distance lengthens between application and user; some applications are simply too performance-sensitive. For an organisation looking to globalise their offering or wanting to provide access into critical applications in different continents, the challenges of the public internet’s variable consistencies can hinder application performance to the point they become unusable. Add onto this security threats like recent headline-grabbing DDoS attacks, and it is easy to see why concerns surrounding connectivity exists.”
Russell concluded: “Increasingly, we are seeing companies looking for cloud connectivity alternatives that offer greater consistency than is available over the public internet. By connecting their Cloud to their corporate private Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network using interconnection “bridges” like CLOUD X Fusion from GCX, many of these concerns can be mitigated.
“Unlike the public internet, MPLS provides private connectivity into large-scale public clouds, guaranteeing the user quality-of-service, prioritisation and service level agreements between two key points including public cloud environments. Ultimately, this allows an organisation to access applications faster, more securely and more cost effectively.”
Greg McCulloch, CEO of Aegis Data says that the increasingly diverse nature of Aegis’ customer portfolio is driving demand for faster and more secure connectivity into key public cloud environments, and our partnership with GCX significantly enables this.
“Today, colocation facilities are becoming increasingly critical in not only hosting cloud environments, but also providing the necessary access and connectivity into those platforms. For a lot of data centre providers meeting the requirements for this can represent a challenge. Connectivity is often through the public internet, which can cause performance to lag especially when you’re looking to access applications in different regions. For a number of organisations this can be hugely frustrating, especially when demands for increased speed and flexibility are only becoming more intense. This is something we have looked to address through our relationship with GCX.
“Our partnership means our customers are able to benefit from having a point-of-presence into a secure, private network, which in turn provides access into some of the biggest cloud environments, including the likes of Microsoft Azure and AWS. By accessing these clouds, our customers can be confident they are achieving the maximum from their connectivity in terms of performance, cost and security. The reality is as more and more organisations start to address their digital strategy, we can expect to see connectivity become a key component in this conversation.”
Global Cloud Xchange (GCX), a subsidiary of Reliance Communications, offers a comprehensive portfolio of solutions customized for carriers, enterprises and new media companies. GCX owns the world’s largest private undersea cable system spanning more than 67,000 route kms which, seamlessly integrated with Reliance Communications’ 200,000 route kms of domestic optic fibre backbone, provides a robust Global Service Delivery Platform. With connections to 40 key business markets worldwide spanning Asia, North America, Europe and the Middle East, GCX delivers Managed Services to more than 160 countries and offer extensive VPLS-enabled Ethernet network capabilities globally. GCX is equipped to support businesses through the deployment of next generation Enterprise solutions across its Cloud Delivery Networks.
Aegis Data provides highly resilient and optimised data centre environments for its customers' mission critical IT. Its state of the art data centre aims to significantly reduce IT expenditure by delivering greater cooling efficiencies across all power densities as well as having the power headroom to allow for IT consolidation and growth. With increasingly more customers seeking a road map to increased IT efficiency and value for money, Aegis Data aims to provide the technology and knowledge needed to build and develop a successful colocation and data centre strategy.