Of course, you also need an advanced automation system to be able to handle these requirements at scale; this system should be able to evolve into one that includes:
Service Oriented Automation: including one-click connectivity and the ability to consume, and quickly modify, customer configurations
Intercloud Service Orchestration: the cross-domain ability to orchestrate services among multiple cloud service providers
There are multiple ways you can go, and the choice largely depends on the preferences of your enterprise and CSP customers, as well as what you’re geared up to support inside the Colo.
The simplest (most primitive) option is just to connect over the Internet via a network service provider to the CSP. This has the following pros and cons:
Pros: Can use existing internet connection to enable hybrid cloud; it’s easy and you can connect to any number of CSPs
Cons: Security is a huge issue here, and latency can’t be controlled
So this option won’t work for anything that requires a decent SLA.
An intermediate choice is to support a Point of Presence (PoP) for enterprises and CSPs within the Colo. This brings with it some new advantages:
Pros: The fixed latency and guaranteed bandwidth of a private LAN
Cons: Negotiating with the enterprise to house a demarc in your data center, and the connectivity between the enterprise and the Colo is still over an SP network
Probably the most flexible option is to remove the requirement to connect over the SP network and house the enterprise DC in your facility (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Enterprise DC Housed in the Colo for Maximum Flexibility
Of course, this isn’t always possible, and many enterprises will keep much of their infrastructure on premises, but when you can achieve it you have the ability to offer very sophisticated services.
Potential Service Offerings
Figure 2 shows a high level overview of the service categories you can offer.
Figure 2: High Level Service Categories
These categories can be described as follows:
Network to Cloud: Interconnection over a public or private network (WAN or DC) to a cloud service
Cloud Exchange: Enable enterprises to connect to multiple cloud providers on a private network
Intercloud Service Orchestration: enterprise and/or colocation facility can access and chain network and cloud services
You thus have the makings of a tiered service offering, with the latter two options providing the most flexibility and performance. The first two of these you can do today, and with judicious use of workflow-based automation, you can set up very effective hybrid cloud automation.
The final category is more forward-looking, and requires an advanced automation platform to be able to perform cross-cloud orchestration. Even before the full bloom of this vision is realized, elements of solutions in this area can be deployed in an incremental fashion even today.
Optimizing Customer Experience
The options for cloud exchange and intercloud service orchestration provide ways to optimize the customer experience for all tenants: enterprise, CSP, and at times even network service providers may house equipment in the Colo.
For enterprise tenants, the advantages are:
One stop for multiple cloud services
Connection options to match the application SLA
Flexibility to update the connection as the requirements evolve for either hybrid or multicloud
CSP tenants also reap benefits:
Brokerage between multiple cloud services
They can provide their services more easily and cost effectively
They can gain customers faster and at higher speed
In this example, we show a Colo houses multiple enterprise, network and cloud services. Here (Figure 3), there are three cloud services being used, but the enterprise has subscribed to only one of them: SalesForce.com (SFDC).
Figure 3: A Service Across Multiple Cloud Providers
At the end of every quarter, the enterprise needs to generate a financial report for the quarter. In part, the order is fulfilled by the Colo provider with the necessary data to generate it.
The enterprise provides the location of the data and the requisite algorithms to the Colo provider, and the Colo orchestration engine communicates with SFDC’s orchestration to create a bundle of the data that needs to be used for the report.
In the next step, Colo orchestration communicates with a Hadoop provider (AWS in this case) and creates a temporary tenancy for “number crunching” this data. To do this, Colo orchestration moves the data from SFDC to AWS via the Colo network.
The AWS tenant crunches the data and creates the data necessary for generating a financial report. Colo orchestration communicates with a different CSP (GoogleApps in this case) that will create a new tenant to generate a financial report. After the Colo network moves the data from AWS to Google, the AWS tenancy is terminated.
Data is then processed in a report generated and provided to the customer, and the Google tenancy is terminated.
Call to Action
If you are attending NANOG 70, see us at the Beer n Gear on Tuesday June 6, or attend one of our lightning talks. And be sure to contact your Brocade representative for more information.
Related Products and Blogs
Follow the links in the article; additionally, the follow related products and blogs will give you more information.
Brocade technologies that are pertinent to this topic include: