VMware and AWS teaming together to offer a hybrid infrastructure solution in VMware Cloud on AWS demonstrates the demand from customers for a mix of private and public cloud solutions. The first step to hybrid infrastructure is to provide connectivity between the two networks.
Here are three popular options for connecting your private network to the public cloud.
Public cloud services frequently begin via public products such as websites. As customers become comfortable with public cloud, the desire to host more sensitive data increases. Public cloud providers become an extension of the data center network. Internet VPN is the first, and simplest, option, and it provides the shortest lead time of the three options.
Public cloud services offer VPN appliances or native VPN through the network services control panel. Device support includes options ranging from hardware VPN concentrators to OS-based VPN solutions such as OpenVPN. Most cloud providers charge for the compute instances hosting the VPN software. Also, cloud providers charge for the total bandwidth transferred from the public cloud. Data transferred over VPN counts against data transfer cost. There isn't a minimum commitment associated with VPN options.
2. Direct connection
VPN limits the ability to offer a consistent experience over a common internet connection. For a more predictable connection, cloud providers offer a direct private connection via co-location facilities. Commonly referred to as cloud hotels, cloud providers partner with large data center providers such as Switch. Cloud hoteliers terminate multiple cloud provider networks into their facilities. Customers rent facilities from the data center providers, and the data center provider offers a cross connect from the cloud provider's facilities to customer facilities.
Direct connections come in two Ethernet speeds of 1Gbps or 10Gbps. The data center provider charges for the cross connect, while the cloud provider charges for the port. Most cloud providers allow unlimited transfer over direct connects which brings down the per gigabyte transfer cost. Cloud hotels offer extremely short terms such as 1-month commitments. Customers can leverage the shorter commitments for short-term projects to transfer data, or to test a new service from a cloud provider.
3. Telco managed
Telco providers offer managed services based on a direct connect model. Customers may find that a speed less than 1Gbps or speeds between 1Gbps and 10Gps more desirable. Telco providers bundle connectivity to a cloud provider's network. Many times, these connections are direct connects in cloud hotels.
Customers have a wider variety of connectivity options from telco providers. For example, telco providers offer MPLS and Ethernet connection options to your preferred cloud provider. Telco terms tend to mimic existing WAN commitment lengths—telco providers normally offer commitments lengths ranging from 12-36 months.
Customers aren't limited to a single connection option, however. Any combination of the above solutions combines to form a resilient, high-speed hybrid network.
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Keith Townsend is a technology management consultant with more than 15 years of related experience designing, implementing, and managing data center technologies. His areas of expertise include virtualization, networking, and storage solutions for Fortune 500 organizations. He holds a BA in computing and a MS in information technology from DePaul University.