Data Center

Internet and Cloud Exchanges: Become Trusted Advisors for Your Enterprise Customers

by asardell ‎05-15-2017 06:49 AM - edited ‎05-24-2017 02:31 PM (6,520 Views)

According to IDC, worldwide spending on public cloud services is expected to grow from USD 96.5 billion in 2016 to more than USD 195 billion in 2020. And Gartner points out that the worldwide public cloud services market will grow 18% in 2017, with the highest growth coming from Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

 

However, many applications will stay in the private cloud or on premises. So it’s going to be a hybrid world, and as the number of applications continues to grow, their ideal placement will vary.

 

As an Internet or Cloud Exchange Provider (IXP/CXP), you can become a trusted advisor to your enterprise customers (and ultimately your CSP ones as well) by being conversant in the issues of where best to place application workloads.

 

Remember the Drivers!

 

The main drivers for migration to hybrid cloud include cost optimization and the agility and scalability of cloud services--a finding that is borne out by a recent IBM study (Figure 1).

Strategic 1.png

Figure 1: Why Organizations Say They’ll Strategically Adopt Hybrid Cloud Solutions

 

TCO and operational efficiencies dominate the mindshare of executives contemplating the cloud, along with innovation and the ability to meet customer expectations. Enterprises cited cloud’s agility and composability as enabling faster time to market for new products and services.  

 

It’s All About the Application

 

We talked last month about the drivers for hybrid cloud. In that article, we mentioned some of the related applications. Here, we’ll delve a little deeper into the characteristics of those applications, and how they may inform where applications will reside in a hybrid cloud strategy: on premises, off premises in a private cloud, or delivered via a public cloud.

 

As an IXP/CXP, or even a colocation provider looking to become an exchange, you can become a trusted advisor by understanding the importance of your customer’s application workloads, as well as what cloud services providers (CSPs) can offer.

 

Although there’s no hard and fast rule, there are many guidelines based on application characteristics including size, security requirements, latency requirements, mission criticality, etc. And knowing how to help your customers find the right home for their applications can be a key to success.

 

Key Application Characteristics

 

At the highest level, enterprises think of their applications in terms of how highly available they need to be, the quality requirements, and the throughput requirements. This gives you a starting point for understanding how your customers are thinking about their applications.

 

Breaking down the selection function in rough terms, here are four main categories mapped into application types:

 

  • High Availability: critical real time services that cannot accept any interruption at all; examples include call center voice to critical virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) traffic. Failover for these applications needs to be practically instantaneous.
  • High Quality: typical real time services, for instance VoIP or video conferencing such as business-quality Skype
  • High Throughput: anything where maximum speed is more important than quality; examples include data replication and file transfers.
  • Everything Else: Examples include applications that can live with some jitter and very large bulk data transfers.

 

Understanding these meta-characteristics and how to fulfill them will help you find the right workload placement for your customers. Keep these characteristics in mind as we discuss network requirements and varied needs for automation and visibility in the next section.

 

General Guidelines

 

Once basic connectivity and cloud exchange is achieved, growing enterprises soon find the need for more services and application workloads (e.g., big data analytics, content, storage, Citrix, email, IP telephony, virtual desktop, and disaster recovery). Some will need higher bandwidth, perhaps multiple connections at 100 Gbps.

The basic network requirements are:

 

  • Customer-facing port speed (1/10/100 Gbps)  
  • Bandwidth: High, Medium, or Low
  • QoS (Strict, weighted or Best Effort)
  • Latency (Low or High)
  • Virtualization (Yes or No)

In addition to these requirements you need to consider separate issues around automation and serviceability:

 

  • Automation of configuring the service (Yes or No)
  • Visibility (Yes or No)
  • SLA assurance (Critical or Best Effort, performance or High Availability)  
  • Security (Yes or No)

Mapping Attributes to Applications and Locations

 

Taking all of these considerations in mind, you can help your customers whether they want public cloud connectivity (such as AWS, Azure, SalesForce, SAP, Google, etc.), private cloud support, or even on-premise support and services. Naturally, this knowledge helps you to become more value to your CSP customers as well.

 

We listed a lot of key applications when we brought up the motivations for hybrid cloud. In the following table, we map these applications to their main attributes and possible locations (on premise, private cloud or public cloud).

 

Low Bandwidth Applications

 

First, we’ll look at applications that don’t require as much bandwidth.

 

Table 1: Key Applications, Attributes and Possible Locations (Low Bandwidth)

Application

Attributes

Feasible Location

Email


Low bandwidth, asynchronous, QoS Best Effort (BE), latency tolerant, virtualization

On-Premise, Private Cloud, Public Cloud  

Security (malware, anti spam and anti-virus, etc)

Low bandwidth, near-real time, QoS weighted, medium latency, virtualization, Visibility, SLA

On-Premise, Private Cloud, Public Cloud  

IP telephony

Low bandwidth, critical real time, Strict QoS, low latency, virtualization, Automation, Visibility, SLA, Security

On-Premise, Private Cloud, Public Cloud  

Training Servers

Low bandwidth, near real-time, QoS weighted, low latency, virtualization, Automation, Visibility, SLA (Performance), Security

Private Cloud, Public Cloud  

CRM

Low bandwidth, near real time, QoS weighted,low latency, virtualization, Automation, Visibility, SLA (Performance), Security

On-Premise, Private Cloud, Public Cloud  

Project Mgmt

Low bandwidth, near real-time, QoS weighted, low latency, virtualization, Automation, Visibility, SLA (Performance), Security

Private Cloud, Public Cloud  

Reporting, Expense Mgmt

Low bandwidth, asynchronous, QoS BE, latency tolerant, virtualization, Automation, Visibility, Security

Private Cloud, Public Cloud  

HR Software

Low bandwidth, asynchronous, QoS BE, latency tolerant, virtualization, Automation, Visibility, Security

Private Cloud, Public Cloud  

 

Medium to High Bandwidth Applications

 

Table 2 considers the medium-to-high bandwidth applications.

 

Table 2: Key Applications, Attributes and Possible Locations (Medium-High Bandwidth)

 

Application

Attributes

Feasible Location

Disaster Recovery

High bandwidth, asynchronous, QoS weighted, latency tolerant, virtualization, Automation, Visibility,  SLA (Performance), Security

Private Cloud, Public Cloud  

Big data Analytics

High bandwidth, asynchronous, QoS weighted, latency tolerant, virtualization, Automation, Visibility, SLA (Performance), Security

Private Cloud, Public Cloud  

Content storage

High bandwidth, asynchronous, QoS weighted, latency tolerant, virtualization, Automation, Visibility, SLA (Performance), Security

Private Cloud, Public Cloud  

Development and Testing

Medium bandwidth, near real-time, QoS weighted, low latency, virtualization, Automation, Visibility, SLA (Performance), Security

On-Premise, Private Cloud

Websites

Medium-to-high bandwidth, asynchronous, QoS weighted, low latency, virtualization, Automation, Visibility, SLA (performance), Security

Private Cloud, Public Cloud  

Microsoft Office

Medium bandwidth, near real time, QoS weighted, low latency, virtualization, Automation, Visibility, SLA, Security

Private Cloud, Public Cloud  

Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI)

Medium bandwidth, near real time, QoS strict, low latency, virtualization, Automation, Visibility, SLA (Performance), Security

On-Premise, Private Cloud, Public Cloud  

 

How Enterprises Benefit from a Hybrid IT Cloud Strategy

 

Hybrid cloud improves business agility and speed, enables more effective use of internal resources and provides  better linkage between IT and the business. Figure 2 shows how these benefits allow for greater business expansion, create  new revenue sources and support new business models.

 

what ents get from hybrid 1.png

 

Figure 2:  Hybrid Cloud for Industry expansion, New Revenue Sources and Business Models

Note: in a future blog, we’ll cover the relevant issues and perspectives of your CSP customers.   

 

Call to Action

 

According to Gartner, “Many traditional colocation providers have realized that just offering basic floor space, network access and power is not enough to compete in the market, and many of them have begun offering add-on services.”  As such, Gartner tells enterprises to align their use cases with colocation provider type. Considerations such as these will help you profit from that alignment.

 

For more information, follow the links in this article or contact your Brocade representative.

 

Blogs Related to IXP/CXP or Colocation Centers  

 

How Can Colocation Providers Address Hybrid Cloud Strategy?

 

How a Leading IXP Addressed Key Challenges with SLX 9850

 

Data Center Fabric Automation with Brocade Workflow Composer

 

Solutions for Service Provider Data Centers

 

Convergence Trends in Interconnection

 

 

 

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