Rapid developments in cloud and networking technology are changing the way your organization stores and accesses data and applications. An ever-growing range of options is making finding the right combination increasingly difficult. You want speed, reliability, security, and of course a high-quality experience for your end-users. A multi-cloud strategy can offer all of those things. It can ensure access to applications distributed across multiple clouds, data centers, sites, vehicles and more. But multi-cloud architecture is not without its challenges. Could a multi-cloud strategy be right for your organization? And if so, how do you ensure the continued security and performance your users expect?
Multi-Cloud Strategy Challenges
The growth of cloud has made it common for businesses to move applications offsite. And as your organization expands its geographic footprint, cloud allows your applications to be just about anywhere. Regardless of where your application resides, there are four key challenges you’ll face when implementing a multi-cloud strategy:
- Design: Developing a multi-cloud strategy and procuring networking and access control/security solutions from a variety of vendors is a time-consuming process
- Implementation: Multi-cloud deployments can be fragile and simple changes to VPNs, firewalls or other traditional solutions may break parts of your design
- Support: Sourcing solutions from multiple vendors leaves you without a single place to call for network support
- Cost: Diverting internal resources to build and support a multi-cloud strategy is not inexpensive
Depending on the size and focus of your organization, you may not even have the internal resources needed to procure solutions from multiple vendors and build a unified solution. And even if you do, the process of implementing a multi-cloud strategy in-house can be time-consuming — meaning your efforts are diverted from building and maintaining your business.
Building a Virtual Backbone
There is a better way to leverage the benefits of a multi-cloud strategy while limiting the challenges you’ll have to face. Deploy a virtual backbone across cloud networks and create your own high-speed virtual network capable of supporting multiple speeds and use-cases. But what does a “virtual backbone” look like?
This approach is made up of two parts:
- A Private Wide Area Network (PWAN): a high-speed network between clouds
- An Edge-to-Cloud network: to connect other data sources to your PWAN
This model allows you to unify your entire network, allowing you to treat the cloud as your core network as well as parts of the edge.
A Private Wide Area (virtual) Network allows you to create a single virtual network in a single management space using a variety of circuit types and carriers. The benefits of deploying a private WAN include:
- Gaining a private space while using commodity broadband
- Ability to automate changes to hardware as policies change or update
- Real-time control to steer traffic based on performance or usage
An Edge-to-Cloud network is exactly what it sounds like. It connects less central parts of your network (on-premises machines, Internet of Things devices, etc.) to your multi-cloud architecture. This solution ensures all assets and applications, no matter how remotely located, are always available.
Choosing a Multi-Cloud Strategy Partner
Partnering with someone who can provide such a “virtual backbone” for your network can help to remove many of the roadblocks standing in the way of your multi-cloud strategy. It ensures comprehensive support and provides oversight that helps guarantee security and reliability, without reducing you to dependence on a single cloud provider.
But how do you find the right multi-cloud strategy partner for your organization?
At Multapplied, we provide a virtual, software-defined, networking platform that allows you to create, deploy and control multi-cloud solutions to grow your business and revenue while increasing end-user satisfaction. Multi-cloud strategy and deployment is our specialty. But if you’re looking to compare solutions, here’s a quick checklist of things to look for in a multi-cloud strategy solution:
- 100% software-driven (both in the cloud and at the edge)
- Fully secure and encrypted
- Transport-agnostic (you get a single managed network that incorporates legacy and wireless networks, business internet and broadband)
- Easily deployed (avoid designs that rely heavily on vendor-specific engineering)
- Clear per-site licensing that does not include bandwidth-sensitive costs or core licensing fees)
We believe you have the right to full visibility and control of your network. If you’d like to learn more about how Multapplied can help you leverage the power of a multi-cloud strategy, get in touch with our experts today.