Whitepaper: CLOUD THE THIRD GENERATION CLOUD DE-RISKS THE TRANSITION

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1 Whitepaper: CLOUD THE THIRD GENERATION CLOUD DE-RISKS THE TRANSITION September 2013

2 report whitepaper your cloud is only as good as your network Cloud third generation Cloud solutions help de-risk to the Cloud Executive summary The adoption and use of Cloud technology is still being held back by justified concerns in the minds of many CIOs, IT Directors and Managers. In October 2012, Exponential-e commissioned research from 250 UK IT decision makers on the barriers to Cloud adoption. The findings were shared in a report: Building the silver lining and although most respondents saw Cloud as key to increasing productivity and reducing the total cost of ownership for physical infrastructure, many had a number of significant concerns: security inadequate or unreliable network connections cost interoperability SLAs At a recent Cloud event held at the Emirates stadium hosted by Exponential-e, EMC and VMware, a new concern was added to the list: the risk of losing access to critical corporate data when held in the Cloud. The stakes are sky-high as businesses consider a move to Cloud. IT Senior Management is well aware of the huge potential benefits, whilst the penalties can be extremely painful for those who do not take the time to ensure that the solutions are reliable and resilient. Highly respected in the industry as one of the UK s leading technology innovators, Exponential-e is now at the forefront of creating what is seen as a third generation of Cloud services that integrate and use the speed and flexibility of a world-class high speed Ethernet network combined with the latest in compute and storage virtualisation techniques. Exponential-e s deep knowledge of high speed and low latency data connectivity has resulted in a 100Gigabit core network that routinely supports broadcast standard HD TV streams and high-frequency algorithmic trading as well as many thousands of corporate network connections. This 10 year investment in smart infrastructure, smart people and smart products, now underpins a new generation of Cloud tools and services to augment existing corporate IT infrastructure with elastic Cloud services that are both secure and that truly perform. 1

3 Islands in the Cloud The standard model for Cloud operators is to create islands of compute and storage infrastructure accessed using Protocal Virtual Private Networks (IPVPNs) across the. The lure of this ubiquitous access perceived as free is one of its fundamental commercial strengths but can also be Cloud s critical weakness. More specifically, two significantly different reasons to access applications running in the Cloud and/or data stored in the Cloud are: 1. facing web-based e-commerce systems. 2. Back office systems and databases relocated to the Cloud. The former absolutely requires access to the and also requires the protection of firewalls in order to maintain the integrity of these systems helping to protect against the ever-present threat of fraudulent attack or DDoS attempt. However, providing the mobility of location or the elastic augmentation of back office systems is all too frequently provided using a VPN across the public. The benefits of this design are all too tempting as no new connectivity needs to be installed and security is maintained by the VPN terminating on existing public facing firewalls. The consequences of using a VPN for this second use case, severely reduces or even eliminates much of the desirable functionality required to make Cloud computing and storage an inherent, seamless extension of a company s existing infrastructure. Providing additional processing power and data storage in this way usually results in big bang projects to export multiple systems into the Cloud along with their associated databases. Not only is this type of lift and shift project quite risky, but it leaves applications running in the Cloud isolated from any remaining in-house systems and databases, creating another set of problems. Cloud services designed without suitable connectivity back to the enterprise s current server Local Area Networks (LANs) undoubtedly satisfy the mass migration of applications into the Cloud, but the ability to augment existing compute and data capacity using the latest application and storage mobility offered by today s state-of-the-art hypervisors and self-service orchestration layers, is being severely constrained by most Cloud operators lack of enabling network infrastructure. In contrast, Exponential-e s Cloud solutions have been designed from the ground up as third generation, combining 10 years of leadership in the world of the enterprise with the capability of offering the kind of affordable secure, low latency and high capacity connectivity between existing server LANs and multiple Cloud data centres offering the kind of application and data mobility that is ideal to augment existing IT capacity. 2

4 Cloud as an extension of your Server LAN As we have learnt, IPVPN across the public is not the only way for enterprises to connect to and integrate Cloud services into their environments. The cost of connecting in-house data centres, or equipment already relocated to public colocation centres continues to diminish at a pace. The prospect of secure Layer 2 LAN extensions into Cloud data centres is the key to unlocking a considerable toolkit of application and data mobility, as well as the extensibility offered by the latest hypervisors and data stores via incredibly powerful self-service orchestration layers. The Enterprise Server LAN is augmented with elastic computing power and data storage in a Cloud data centre The kind of connectivity required in order to release the full potential of today s Cloud technology to seamlessly augment an enterprise s investment in IT infrastructure, requires capacity of 1 Gigabit per second or faster with a latency of less than 5 milliseconds, preferably less than 1 millisecond. Cloud extensions to a customer s IT platform that has already been sited in colocation centres at 10 Gigabits per second with latency measured in micro-seconds, can now actually be cheaper than a 1 Gigabit circuit into a customer s in-house data centre. In contrast, accessing systems and data relocated into Cloud islands reached via an IP VPN or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) across the public will be significantly slower and will usually be the cause of major bottlenecks and variable performance in peak loads. 3

5 In the low latency world of Layer 2 connectivity unencumbered by routers and firewalls, new capabilities become available to the enterprise s IT group or the supporting Systems Integrator, such as: - Remote storage attached to existing servers using standard i-scsi. - High availability options for virtual machines. - Replacement of tape backup. - Server replication where the system and data is simply spun up in the Cloud in order to activate failover. - Off-site data replication is usable without having to pull back the data. - Physical to Virtual (P2V) migrations without isolating the system from the remainder of the enterprise s data environment. - Cloud access to the via the enterprise s current firewalls and policies. - Enterprise users have secure internal access to Cloud-based services without the need to exit the corporate. - Single pane of glass offering seamless command and control of local and Cloud infrastructure. - Simple integration with corporate unified voice communications. This radical shift of thinking is spurring a whole new world of capabilities to securely integrate Cloud services into existing IT infrastructure to offer mobility and augmentation under the end user s control rather than a more risky big bang relocation in a Cloud island. Additional compute and application mobility Ultra Low Latency Connectivity Supplementary storage and storage mobility 4

6 With speeds up to 10 Gigabit per second and latencies in the microseconds, this technology makes hybrid Cloud resources appear and perform as if they are physically located alongside a customer s existing equipment. Simple but secure Layer 2 extendibility into a Cloud Operator s data centre, crucially coupled with the ability to protect and insulate a LAN segment directly into a Virtual Data Centre (VDC) instance offering Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), has brought us full circle back to being able to use standard IT tools that have long since been rendered inoperative due to placing the between systems and data stores. If an enterprise were to drop additional servers and SANs into its data centre, would it connect them into its existing infrastructure using an IPVPN through firewalls and routers across the public? Cloud a whole new world of Cloud functionality This radical third generation Cloud has some key benefits that contrast with many of today s Cloud solutions that need exploring. Servers in a VDC are on the same LAN using the same local IP addressing scheme as current in-house servers. Virtual machine mobility or physical to virtual migrations are enabled without IP modification and they retain the ability to access existing servers or databases via IP, again without modification. New applications moved to the VDC or spun up for the first time in a VDC, have direct access to the enterprise s existing Active Directories for user authentication etc. Access to and from the public can be via the existing in-house firewalls using the current security policies, because VDC based systems are on the same LAN as the current in-house public facing servers and use the same existing gateway. VDC uses existing corporate firewall and policies 5

7 A whole new approach to alleviating the ubiquitous storage bottleneck is by offering enterprise s the ability to mount remote disk in Windows Server or Linux operating systems using standard i-scsi via standard Ethernet NICs. Remote i-scsi Drive Unlike Cloud storage silos, this form of standard-based network drive can be a simple first step offering access to vast quantities of low cost storage in the cloud. Due to the nature of using high capacity and ultra-low latency connectivity, it is actually directly usable in real time. Current Cloud data solutions are more an archival approach that has to drip feed large quantities of data into a distant data store across the for slow retrieval before use. Due to the vast quantities of data that users today are producing by the second, most businesses are constantly in need of additional storage. This is the first Cloud solution that allows an enterprise s existing mail server or Distributed File System (DFS) servers to directly mount remote drives and offer secure viable performance. 10 Gigabits per second access The final and most compelling version of Cloud 3.0 is to be able to extend Cloud VDC and storage services into customer racks in existing colocation centres. Having upgraded its core network to 100 Gigabits per second, Exponential-e now has the capability to extend these third generation services to customers who have already moved some or all of their IT infrastructure into colocation centres at a mammoth 10 Gigabits per second. It can cost less to extend 10 Gigabit services to customer racks in colocation centres than to deploy a 1 Gigabit per second access circuit into an enterprise s local data centre. 6

8 POWER LAN MGMT whitepaper Additional storage and high speed access to VDC Affordable 10Gig ultra low latency connectivity i-scsi Targets for Remote Drives Customer Rack in London Co-lo With this kind of ultra-high bandwidth combined with low latency connectivity, augmenting existing IT systems or relocating them into the Cloud has never had such a feature-rich set of high performance tools to de-risk and enable the migration of data and services into the Cloud. w: e: t: 7

9 Conclusion As the economic benefits of Cloud-based services become even more persuasive, the ability to de-risk projects, retain robust security with enterprise-class performance and service levels is now challenging Cloud Providers in their quest to move beyond the early Cloud adopter customers. The combination of low cost and high performance Cloud infrastructure combined with high speed, secure Ethernet-based LAN extensions and VPLS based wide area networks is now compelling. The kind of third generation tools outlined in this paper should help to alter the perception of IT Directors and CIOs that Cloud = = Unsecure with Poor Performance. Affordable technology and connectivity is now available to integrate Cloud services into corporate s to offer all of the performance and security of a local Private Cloud, but with the economics of multi-tenanted enterprise-class infrastructure. e: p: Enterprise-class Wide Area Networks have been built using the economics of multi-tenanted, shared infrastructure for many years now and their ability to separate and totally insulate and secure corporate traffic goes without challenge. The reality is that third generation Hybrid Cloud services have also progressed to the point where they provide the same level of separacy and security that is fundamental to businesses risking placing mission critical systems and data in the Cloud. As has been demonstrated, your cloud really is now only as good as your network and the message is clear for CIOs, IT Directors and Systems Integrators: Third generation Cloud + high quality network = secure, enterprise-classs Cloud economics Leman Street London E1 8EU p: +44 (0) w: e: t:

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