To resolve the network node with an external data center

More cloud solutions means more network connections, more expenses and more uncertainty. But there is another option - a safe and stable road directly to the clouds.


5 March 2021

Rome was not built in a day, nor does the corporate network. Because very few people kick the door in to all the network connections they need, the same day they get a CVR number.

Instead, corporate networks grow continuously as needs and opportunities arise.

In the nature of things, this unfortunately also means that no one has an overall master plan for their network, which can quickly become a mess of ad hoc solutions on connections to SaaS providers, cloud services, customers and partners. Some run over dedicated connections and some over public internet connections.

This results in a lack of overview and uncertainty about operational reliability, which can ultimately hit the bottom line. When a cable is dug over, or other users give heavy traffic on the connection, it costs time and money both with oneself and any customers who cannot access services.

Back to the wheel and out on the highway

But all that hassle can be avoided by moving your own network very close to all the cloud solutions you need, and actually cutting your network down to one secured connection to a central node that then connects on to the cloud.

Some companies have already started placing all or part of their network in a colocation data center. This means at least fewer operational tasks, but with the right data center, it can also mean a revolution in the entire company's network architecture.

Some data center providers can connect the company's network hub in the colocation data center directly to the cloud services needed - either within the data center's own walls or via direct private connections with guaranteed uptime and latency. In this way, the users of the data centers minimize latency and stability problems in one go and avoid dissatisfied customers and missed deadlines.

"It acts as a hub and spokes on a wheel," explains Jelle Frank van der Zwet, Strategy Director at Interxion: A Digital Realty Company, which specializes in colocation solutions.

"Your network hub in the data center is the hub, and we deliver the spokes in the form of our Cloud-Connect solution, which has guaranteed reliable private connections to the cloud services you need."

It is a solution that KMD  and TIG  , among others, have seen the benefits of, because with a central and not least guaranteed stable hub, network costs are dramatically reduced, while at the same time the uncertainty surrounding the connections to the individual links in the network is minimized.

The connections to SaaS providers and cloud services are a sore point for many companies. In a recent  survey  of requirements for cloud-enablement providers conducted by 451 Research, 70 percent of companies surveyed said that cloud and network connectivity was their primary concern.

»It is the alpha and omega for modern companies that their data can flow quickly, securely and stably. Most of our data centers house physical nodes from the global cloud providers, and some of them are simply physically located close to the cloud platforms' own facilities. This means that in many cases you can get down to 0.1 milliseconds in your connection to the cloud service. "

"The same principle also applies to the many local cloud services that are found in our data centers - here you can also connect directly to the data center and thus avoid using the internet," explains Jelle Frank

The Interxion service-level agreement (SLA) promises an uptime of 5/9, and in order to deliver the designer Interxion data centers to be able to deliver an SLA of 8/9.

For those who can't quite remember, an uptime of 5/9 means the system is up 99.999 percent of a given period. For example, a system with 5/9 uptime will be unavailable for a maximum of 864.3 milliseconds in one day. It does not take many years before network administrators wrote frustrated  warning posts  about the dangers of striving for something so unrealistic. The same network managers would probably sneeze scornfully just at the thought of designing a data center for a downtime of less than a millisecond a day.

But today, that's what Jelle Frank and his colleagues at Interxion have built their business on.

Your network is your business

Basically, a secure, fast and stable network architecture is about the future, says Jelle Frank. For already now, more and more critical workloads end up in the cloud, and if the network does not deliver, it all falls to the ground with a bang. It will only become more urgent in the future, he believes.

‘It’s a matter of being ready for the third wave of network-based enterprise. First wave gave us SaaS and that sort of thing. This is, for example, where we saw AWS grow big. Now in the second wave we see the critical workloads move up in the cloud. But many companies simply do not have a network architecture that can support it. It doesn’t get any better for them when the third wave of data-driven innovation driven by AI and IoT really rolls out. So it's a matter of survival to think ahead in its network architecture, ”emphasizes Jelle Frank.

The cloud should not be heavy

While cloud solutions can make life easier in many ways, the cloud is still not as easy as everyone goes and promises. Every cloud service you need to connect to has different connection requirements. So instead of copy-pasting your previous solution and moving on across the steppes, you need to familiarize yourself with the requirements of the individual cloud service and start from scratch. It costs time and money - every time. So Interxion's Cloud-Connect solution is designed to save companies the hassle.

"Our customers just need to enter the network key that the individual cloud service has given them into our Cloud Connect system, and then the connection will be established and configured within a few minutes," says Jelle Frank van der Zwet.