Many enterprises are embracing the cloud. In fact, three out of five large U.S. enterprises are already employing the cloud in some form. That means they will require data center interconnect (DCI) solutions that make the best use of this new architecture. But there’s no one-size-fits-all DCI model for the cloud, given each business has a unique set of business and IT resources. That is the message expressed by Gary Holland, IPRT Segments Marketing at the new Nokia (formerly an Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) business unit), in his recent blog.
Businesses differ on a variety of aspects, including the amount of data they want to store in the cloud, their capitalization, IT assets, and, of course, their size. That creates the need for flexible DCI solutions for cloud interconnect that can address those various business sizes, resources, and models, said Holland.
Some enterprises opt to use private clouds. Private clouds have become popular with finance, health care, large manufacturing, and retail organizations, for which business continuity, client confidentiality, compliance, disaster recovery, logistics, order taking, and supplier tracking is important.
Organizations with private clouds own and operate their own data centers and DCI solutions.
The upside to private clouds is that they give the organizations to use them a lot of control. That’s the key, because businesses that implement private clouds typically do so because they want to have optimal security and control for their mission-critical applications. Typically, a DCI network connects a primary data center to a secondary or even a third data center in the same area. And Holland notes that localized data centers and high-speed, low-latency optical DCI solutions can be combined to support time-sensitive applications like high-frequency trading in the financial vertical. Virtualization is possible in private clouds, meaning applications and data can be distributed across multiple data centers, creating additional flexibility and resiliency in the process.
The downside of private clouds is that erecting and maintaining them can be expensive.
However, Holland explains that businesses can expand their private clouds via virtual private clouds, adding data center resources in co-location facilities operated by communication service providers or carrier-neutral providers. That can provide a business with greater cost effectiveness, flexibility and on-demand scalability, without sacrificing control and security, he says.
“An enterprise could use a virtual private cloud for less critical applications, as a way to augment its private cloud,” Holland suggests. “For example, a financial company could use a private cloud to back up business-critical data, while simultaneously using a virtual private cloud to improve non-critical workload distribution.”
As my colleague TMCnet Senior Editor Peter Bernstein noted in a posting on his look at the white paper white paper, Cloud Interconnect for the Enterprise: Data center interconnect for the cloud era, “realities are that in a software/data center-center world failure is not an option. Hence, putting decisions about DCI cannot and should not be considered something to delay.”