A guest post by Mike Tighe, Executive Director of Data Services at Comcast Business.
There’s no doubt that cloud computing is here to stay. The benefits – efficiency, lower CapEx, improved productivity, etc. – are well-documented, but to effectively reap the benefits of the cloud, you must also consider the increased role network infrastructure plays in enabling your company to operate efficiently using cloud-based systems. In fact, cloud-based services are only as good as the connection to the cloud itself.
Sure you have Internet access…
Traditional Internet access can offer a simple and cost-effective method to access cloud-based resources. But if your business is dependent on the cloud for mission-critical functions such as synching data between two offsite data centers, or backing up credit card information for your customers, the lack of consistent performance and security risks inherent with using the Internet can introduce uncertainty into your cloud model. Not to mention, if something goes wrong, your Internet service provider is not on the hook to deliver remuneration.
…but for mission-critical business applications, Ethernet is the best choice
A high-performance dedicated Ethernet connection is an attractive alternative to Internet-based connectivity for organizations that need reliable, scalable and secure connectivity to the cloud. Ethernet service is separate from, yet can integrate with an Internet connection, and can link offices, public or private data centers, production sites, and other points of operation within the same metro area to each other, and to the cloud. This ensures users experience the same performance, security and service wherever their application is housed.
Ethernet is ideal for enterprise cloud access for three key reasons:
- Reliability. Mission critical apps cannot tolerate loss of connectivity, for which the Internet is notorious. With Ethernet, not only do you benefit from service on a dedicated facility, that facility is typically fiber, which can switch to a redundant path in the event of a cut or node failure – in less than 50 milliseconds.
- Security. One of the top jobs of any IT manager is protecting the network from intrusions, and that risk is inherent with the public Internet. When using the Internet to access your cloud assets, your packets can potentially be passed from company to company –and your service provider cannot take responsibility for what happens on another service provider’s route. You can bypass the public Internet and transfer data safely and securely over a private Ethernet network where your traffic is managed by one company from end-to-end.
- Performance. The Internet may give you the throughput required to access certain cloud-based applications, but it may not. For essential, cloud-based applications that require high availability and low latency, more and more companies are using Ethernet services to access them. Public Internet access to the cloud cannot guarantee the level of performance, consistency, and availability that many enterprises require. With Ethernet, those offsite applications perform and feel like they’re an extension of your Local Area Network (LAN).
Want to learn more about the optimized cloud-enabled network? Craig Waldrop of Equinix will be giving a short presentation on “High Performance Enterprise IT” at Interop in the Comcast Business booth (#1859) Wednesday at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. To stay on top of Ethernet news, trends, and case studies, follow Comcast Business on social media.