Multicloud networks: challenges and solutions


Multi-cloud interconnection is really important. It has evolved in a short time to become a vital consideration for businesses and organizations around the world. Consequently, companies like AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, as well as many other platforms, have experienced tremendous growth rates year over year.

“This is because these clouds have become very important in realizing the digital transformation of enterprises,” believes Brad Casemore, research vice president of data center and multicloud networks at analysis firm IDC. “These platforms are not just destinations for workloads, they are critical to redefining the operating models of IT organizations. And all of this has had a tremendous effect on the network, because we've moved from hosting applications in on-premises data centers to a distributed landscape that includes the cloud and, more and more, as we go, edge environments."

The network, he says, has had to modernize to cope with all these changes: “It has to be able to cause a degree of simplicity without compromising performance and security. It has to offer elastic scale, as well as numerous cloud attributes in terms of being API-based and more software-defined. And it has to do this in a more distributed and complex landscape than we've ever seen."

IDC conducted recent research on how sure types of applications are affecting technology choices across the wide area network: "These are very important considerations for enterprise IT organizations and buyers," says Casemore. “Another element is access to applications and the digital experience, the consumption aspect. Aspects such as security, latency and application performance must be taken into account. We are seeing that SDN providers are working tough to integrate with cloud transport networks. We are also seeing how cloud-native technology is changing the network landscape and placing new demands on networks.”

IDC sees an impressive growth rate of multi-cloud adoption through 2026: "I see huge prospects, and it all speaks to the problems that companies are trying to solve with effective technology," Casemore concludes.

To further the dialogue, Casemore speaks with a number of multi-cloud stakeholders, including Jim Brinksma, CTO of Megaport, a global network services provider with approximately 2,500 customers. He agrees that connectivity is key: "Without proper network connectivity, the overall cloud migration experience can really suffer," he says. “Other hurdles include the initial procedural efforts, such as credentialing, as well as the educational efforts of trying to understand the different role naming conventions and how they align. Also, understand how network egress loads can affect your ability to deliver sure workloads. The network is an enabler, but there will always be little hurdles you have to overcome when you get into the network game in a multicloud environment.”

Migrating to the cloud is relatively easy to get started with, but the complexity soon increases exponentially, agrees Bryan Ashley, Vice President of Solutions Management and Marketing at Aviatrix, creator of a secure cloud networking platform for use in the public cloud and at the edge: "It's about how to instantiate a framework or touchdown zone that scales over time and supports enormous volumes of workloads, and maintains consistent connectivity and redundancy, as well as security and governance."

Sreekanth Kannan, vice president of product management and marketing at Arrcus, a hyperscale networking and software company, says his company sees the multi-cloud market as three different segments: "There's the global 2000, the midsize business, and the that of the little ones, ”he says. “The bulk is the midsize company and the global company, which have their own DevOps teams in the IT teams. They usually start with a hybrid cloud to see how it goes. An access ramp must be provided, because a complete change cannot be made. The first steps are baby: crawling, walking, running.

Aviatrix's Ashley believes that the challenges of multicloud are made more difficult by the growing skills gap, and that organizations often employ a small team to try to overcome the various challenges: "Whether you're deploying a single cloud or a multicloud, they inevitably have to make it work. It is often handed over to rank one people to run and make certain everything is on track.”

Ashley remembers something her mother told her: "Everything is fun until someone loses an eye," she says. “And the reality is that companies are starting to lose some eyes. It can be easy to get started, but soon things can get out of control. Companies have to be able to put some structure in place and develop a real strategy. They need to be able to operationalize everything. We're all looking for ways to begin doing things in a repeatable way that really gives us the control we need."

Ranga Rajagopalan is Vice President and Chief Architect at VMware, and his responsibilities include network security and load balancing: "I think the key is security," he says. “All organizations are going to be compromised or hacked. When that happens, the question is: how much and where has it spread? What apps have been hacked? Do we have full visibility to contain the gap? And what do we do about it? Without good quality multi-cloud networking and security, the answer is you don't know. Maybe after days or weeks and a lot of work you still don't know. As an industry, we have to supply the correct solutions so that people can actually use them without needing to receive PhDs in every network technology, security, and application delivery."

Arrcus's Kannan reminds the panel that it's still early in most people's journey to multi-cloud: "You just have to think about the percentage of workloads that are actually in the cloud, versus distributed." on-prem and elsewhere,” he insists. "We haven't crossed the halfway point. Yes, there are some organizations that are completely cloud native, that have dismantled their data centers, but not many.”

Megaport's Brinksma concludes by reminding that sometimes it's important to step back and really understand what people are trying to accomplish with multi-cloud: "That's probably the first object they should do, and it can get them going in the right direction." . Then it's about things like automation, and being able to have the right tools, not just for day two, but to keep moving forward. That means having the ability to look at metrics across all the different clouds and being able to make those metrics actionable.”

Wrapping up the discussion, IDC's Casemore offers these thoughts: "Of the people IDC has talked to about multi-cloud, numerous of them say, 'I didn't realize the network infrastructure implications when I went to be hybrid and multi-cloud and, in specific, by uploading the stack to the native cloud'. But I think it's important to understand that if you have the right criteria, you can greatly simplify this journey."


  • Analyst Chair: Brad Casemore , Research Vice President, Data Center and Multicloud Networks, IDC
  • Sreekanth Kannan , Vice President of Product Management and Marketing, Arrcus
  • Bryan Ashley , Vice President of Solutions Management and Marketing, Aviatrix
  • Jim Brinksma , Chief Technology Officer, Megaport
  • Ranga Rajagopalan , Vice President, Chief Architect, VMware

Article prepared by NetEvents / Diario TI

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