Victim of Cloud-Washing? Use VPCs to Compete with the Big Firms
As Amazon continues to innovate and deliver new services at an incredible pace it can be a challenge for others in the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) market to keep up. Predicted high growth on public cloud services is causing some existing data center providers to engage in cloud washing – labeling their services as “cloud” or “cloud-enabled”. This leaves genuine CSPs squeezed at both ends – struggling to keep up with Amazon, and struggling to differentiate from cloud washed managed services.
Virtual Private Clouds (VPC) provide one way to stand out. By giving subscribers the means to secure their data in a public cloud environment and connect back to resources in the enterprise CSPs can ease the transition into the cloud and add value for customers.
CSPs have two approaches they can take to delivering VPC. The first is to implement a service provider software defined networking (SDN) layer that can be exposed through an API (and user interface) to customers. This requires a significant investment in the SDN capability and its associated equipment, software and roll out. An alternative approach is to make use of network function virtualization (NFV) where the VPC is implemented entirely in software that’s under the customers’ control. The NFV version operates by running in existing virtual machines and over the top of the existing network. This can be done by simply offering an image to customers as part of a standard image library.
NFV-based VPCs: All the capabilities without the hardware
An NFV based approach to VPC gives cloud customers full control over their security, topology, protocols and addressing, which allows customers to bring workloads to the cloud that they otherwise wouldn’t. Security remains a top concern for those looking to adopt cloud, and security of data in motion to the cloud and in the cloud helps a great deal. Flexible deployment topologies are another benefit of the NFV approach to VPC, allowing for networks that span multiple regions and fault boundaries. It’s hard for CSPs to support protocols like multicast in a multi tenant environment, but a VPC provides the containment and NFV provides enablement. Finally control over addressing lets customers move applications without time consuming, costly and potentially hazardous changes to application configuration.
VPCs can increase the number of potential application topologies customers will move to the cloud and create new revenue streams. With a VPC offering, data center providers and CSPs can expand core cloud offering and make enhanced security and network control features available to their end customers without the cost of new hardware.
Ryan Koop is the Director of Products and Marketing at CohesiveFT. Ryan’s role spans technical product development, customer support, business development and thought leadership. Prior to joining CohesiveFT, Ryan was part of a trading platform software company in the US Derivative Markets.