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Cloud Expo: Article

Why the Network Is Critical to Cloud Success

Enterprises seeking the efficiency offered by cloud solutions should explore the security and reliability of private networking

It's certainly no secret that cloud solutions have become an important and increasingly necessary part of how companies do business today. For enterprises, implementing cloud-based services can help boost productivity, enhance efficiency and reduce costs.

Private cloud solutions take the cloud concept one step further: A private cloud configuration looks and acts like the public cloud, giving enterprises the same levels of speed, agility and cost savings - but in a far more secure environment in which dedicated bandwidth and security are guaranteed.

Private cloud configurations are becoming increasingly important to enterprises. In a recent study, Forrester Research found that more than 31 percent of the midsize enterprises have a private cloud in place already. Another 17 percent said they were going to implement one sometime in the next year.

There are many factors enterprises must consider as they evaluate the private cloud option. For example, which applications are best migrated to the cloud for maximum efficiency and productivity? Can the private cloud architecture scale with my growing business?

Experienced cloud experts can help enterprises address the questions and complexity around private cloud solutions.

One of the most critical issues enterprises must consider is network connectivity. The right network partner can help enterprises better utilize private networks and further increase the efficiency and cost-savings of cloud services.

Regardless of an enterprise's line of business or the types of data it may be transporting, the quality of network connectivity can significantly affect the performance of cloud-based services. Cloud solutions are only as good as the network which carries them.

The advent of cloud-based services means enterprises can get best-of-breed services and applications from anywhere, on any device, at any time. To maximize their cloud investments, enterprises should seek network partners with global reach and connectivity to the major data centers in the world - typically the same data centers where cloud-solution providers host their applications.

Those applications extend beyond software solutions to encompass cloud-based approaches to infrastructure, backup services and security as well. The combination of high-speed network connectivity and close proximity to cloud-based applications enhances the value of an enterprise's cloud investment. Through this combination, enterprises can control their network configurations while also having direct connect access to best-of-breed applications - all delivered over a private, secure and flexible global network.

Global reach, scalability and the ability to connect any location regardless of geography are crucial when it comes to enterprise private cloud configurations. For example, say that hundreds of companies around the world use a major provider's cloud-based contact center and customer-service platform. For each of these companies, a fundamental operating requirement is access to a fast, reliable, private network that can reach customers anywhere in the world.

For the provider of the cloud-based contact center and customer-service platform, a fundamental operating requirement is to engage with a responsive network provider, one that can provision connections rapidly to accommodate the platform's fast-growing customer base. Such links might include high-capacity Ethernet connections to data centers around the world, as well as customized VLANs which enable each of the platform provider's global customers to maximize the flexibility and security of their operations.

Flexibility is critical for enterprises across practically every vertical. The ability to turn up new circuits quickly and make changes whenever and wherever necessary is another important requirement for any enterprise's network partner. Part of that flexibility comes in the form of burstable traffic. In other words, every enterprise wants to pay only for the bandwidth it requires but also have access to additional bandwidth, in real time, whenever applications require that extra capacity.

Private cloud-networking solutions offer multiple benefits to enterprises: greater security and privacy; more control of their cloud-based applications and services;  maximum efficiency and reliability; and guaranteed flexibility when it comes to available bandwidth. The most important factor in obtaining these benefits is the enterprise's underlying network. Engaging with the right cloud-networking partner helps ensure that enterprises achieve the maximum return on their cloud investments.

More Stories By Corey Eng

Corey Eng is the Chief Marketing Officer for GTT, a global cloud networking provider to multinational enterprises.

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