Blog: Simplifying Hybrid Multicloud Networking with Equinix


Nowadays, a hybrid multicloud architecture is a crucial part of any digital transformation initiative. Increasingly, enterprises are pursuing digital infrastructure to avoid vendor lock-in and get the best possible balance of innovation, cost-efficiency, resiliency, and more. In addition, pairing multiple clouds with on-premises environments can provide important security and data privacy benefits. In light of these benefits, most enterprise IT leaders are no longer asking themselves if they should pursue hybrid multicloud.

The Challenge of Hybrid Multicloud Networking

An effective hybrid multicloud strategy requires network infrastructure that enables the uninterrupted flow of data to and from the cloud and between different public cloud providers. However, hybrid multicloud networking can be difficult for many organizations due to several challenges.

Availability of Cloud Regions

The primary challenge for many enterprises is the simple fact that cloud regions are not available in all locations. This can have a serious impact on latency. For example, an enterprise based in Atlanta may face latency issues when using a multicloud approach that involves an application running on the AWS cloud pulling user data from an Oracle Cloud database. Since neither AWS nor Oracle Cloud has a cloud region in Atlanta, all traffic would have to be routed hundreds of miles away to Northern Virginia. This latency can make many modern digital apps unusable.

Keeping Cloud Data Closer

To mitigate latency issues, enterprises can choose to support their hybrid multicloud connectivity and move their cloud connectivity points closer to the providers of their choice. This can be done via colocation services in an Equinix data center or by using virtual network functions (VNFs) from Equinix Network Edge service. By keeping cloud data closer to where it needs to be and using software-defined interconnection, enterprises can achieve a low-latency approach to hybrid multicloud.

Integration of Multiple Cloud Providers

Using networking services offered by cloud providers themselves may seem like a simple choice, but it can become complex when integrating multiple cloud providers. Each cloud provider has its own unique approach to networking, making it challenging to support multiple clouds via proprietary networking tools. On the other hand, Equinix Fabric provides a consistent and intuitive approach to networking, regardless of the cloud providers chosen. With Equinix Fabric, enterprises can manage connections to different providers from a single pane of glass using the self-service web portal.

Moving Data between Branch Offices and Cloud On-Ramps

Moving data between branch offices and cloud on-ramps is a common networking use case in hybrid multicloud architectures. However, integrating this use case into the overall hybrid multicloud strategy can be complex. Connections between branch sites and clouds are typically created using site-to-site VPNs, which require internet access in branch offices. While moving data from branch offices to the cloud is typically free of charge, getting data from the cloud back to branch offices can incur high egress charges. This can hinder the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of a hybrid multicloud strategy.

Equinix can help address this challenge by deploying a Network Edge VNF device as a VPN concentrator adjacent to the cloud of choice. This allows enterprises to create private cloud connections for all branch offices, avoiding high egress charges involved with moving cloud data via the internet.

Integrating Diverse Elements into Hybrid Multicloud Network

Integrating diverse elements into a hybrid multicloud network from remote locations where digital infrastructure services are hard to find can be a significant challenge. SD-WAN is one example of a component that can be difficult to integrate into a global hybrid multicloud architecture from an “off-network” location. However, Equinix Network Edge includes VNF devices that can be used as SD-WAN edge hubs, enabling private connectivity into the cloud from anywhere. With Network Edge devices provided by top vendors, enterprises have a choice of SD-WAN technologies and can program SD-WAN devices to automatically use Equinix Fabric as their preferred path between locations, resulting in improved performance, reliability, and cost benefits.

Integrating MPLS into Hybrid Multicloud Network

Many organizations may find that outright replacing their existing MPLS technology is not the best option for them. Instead, they may look for ways to integrate both SD-WAN and MPLS into their hybrid multicloud network, which can pose challenges. Equinix Fabric, available in more than 50 metros worldwide, can play a key role in enabling MPLS network integration. By establishing off-network Equinix Fabric connectivity and using remote ports to tether into Equinix Fabric locations, enterprises can easily integrate MPLS into their core hybrid multicloud network.

Simplifying Hybrid Multicloud Networking with Equinix

Hybrid multicloud networking can be complex, time-consuming, and costly due to various challenges. However, enterprises don’t have to navigate the process alone. Equinix offers a global colocation footprint, services like Equinix Fabric and Network Edge, and highly experienced solutions architects to help make hybrid multicloud networking easier. Equinix Fabric can form the basis for a core hybrid multicloud network, providing low-latency connectivity and a consistent networking experience across multiple cloud providers.

In conclusion, by overcoming the challenges of hybrid multicloud networking, enterprises can unlock the full potential of their digital transformation initiatives. With the right network infrastructure and the help of Equinix’s services, enterprises can achieve the desired balance of innovation, cost-efficiency, resiliency, and security in their hybrid multicloud environments. To learn more about how Equinix can simplify hybrid multicloud networking, visit the Equinix website today.

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