Connect to the cloud with confidence

As companies move applications and data to the cloud, one question is getting more and more attention: what is the best way to connect to cloud services? 

Many companies still rely on the public internet to access the cloud, running mission-critical operations over the same network that consumers use.

This approach has obvious shortcomings. The public internet is subject to wildly fluctuating traffic volumes. During peak times, performance will be affected, hampering access to critical corporate applications. Issues such as latency and packet loss are also hard to control.

And security risks are so difficult to manage that the public cloud is often completely ruled out for sensitive data.

For companies that rely on the cloud, the adoption of private WAN technology is now seen as an essential part of any cloud strategy

For consumers, there is no alternative to the public internet. Fortunately, businesses have other options.

A private wide area network (WAN) approach, architected using ethernet (VPLS) or MPLS-based IP VPN, provides secure, robust and reliable connectivity to the cloud. By using this approach, companies are able to access the cloud services and applications they require via their corporate WANs.

The private nature of the network means there is no congestion caused by third parties. Data flow is easy to control and optimise. Performance is also elevated far beyond that of the public internet. For companies that rely on the cloud, the adoption of private WAN technology is now seen as an essential part of any cloud strategy.

Security is significantly enhanced by using a private WAN. With the public internet, connection to a cloud-based application is obtained via a log-in page, providing an obvious target of attack for cyber criminals.

In contrast, the private WAN integrates cloud services into the corporate network, so there is no log-in and thus no point of exposure. Furthermore, for an ethernet WAN, Layer 2 switching enables enterprises to retain networking routing control over critical applications, ensuring a higher level of security.

The quality of connection is also improved with private networking. Private WAN providers can generally offer 99.999 per cent network availability, with 2ms or lower jitter and a 0.1 per cent frame/packet loss ratio. Public internet providers usually cannot meet these performance metrics.

Ethernet WANs are efficient from an IT management perspective. IT personnel can treat the cloud services as simply another location on the corporate WAN. Scaling the network as required is simple as well. An enterprise-grade ethernet WAN can move from 1Mbps to 10Gbps, seamlessly and flexibly, unlike traditional networks.

Only a few carriers can offer a truly global ethernet WAN solution. To do so requires extensive investment in the physical infrastructure of the internet.

GTT Communications is a leading internet service provider operating a top-five, global, tier-1 IP network with more than 250 points of presence across five continents, including major business centres. Multinationals can benefit from direct connectivity to datacentres used by leading cloud providers, including IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

Over the past 17 years, GTT has forged agreements with more than 2,000 last-mile providers, enabling them to deliver services in over 100 countries. GTT’s network is so secure that it forms one of the largest backbones in the payment card industry, a sector specifically known for its extraordinarily rigid data security protocols. The company also supplies services to government entities, including the US Department of Defense.

The public cloud is acceptable for consumers, but for large multinational organisations that require access to mission-critical applications and services, private networking solutions can be an ideal choice to provide the high-performance and secure connectivity they require.

For more information on GTT’s portfolio of services, visit gtt.net