The future is not just the cloud, but multi-cloud. According to 451 Research, 69% of enterprises will have multi-cloud/hybrid IT environments by 2019.
Choice and agility are two major reasons why enterprises opt for multi-cloud. For example, some Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) may work better in some area than others, or with specific types of IT workloads. A multi-cloud strategy will allow CIOs to choose the best CSPs for their different needs. As their business grows and applications change, they can have the freedom to choose other CSP environments or subscribe to innovative new services that may not be available in their current CSP environment.
A multi-cloud strategy also offers much greater resilience. A good IT architect needs to avoid Single Points of Failure (SPOFs). Multiple CSPs are less likely to succumb to a single Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack or other security incident. Enterprises can also suffer service outages during a CSP recovery process. But with a multi-cloud infrastructure they can maintain service by diverting mission-critical IT workloads to alternative CSPs.
Why direct is better with multi-cloud
While a multi-cloud strategy offers many benefits, it also introduces some challenges.
The biggest is in-house interconnectivity of IT platforms using different public clouds, and the interconnectivity between them. Building direct links with multiple CSPs can be time-consuming, and costly. It also requires constant monitoring of Service Level Agreements (SLAs). These can be hard for smaller regional companies to negotiate with bigger global CSPs.
A direct multi-cloud connectivity service, like HKT’s SkyExchange Multi-Cloud FAST Connect, enables enterprises to enjoy direct connections to major CSPs, including Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud and Salesforce via SkyExchange multi-cloud interconnection fabric. This offers five key benefits:
- Accelerated Performance with Better Security. Enterprises can bypass unpredictable public Internet connections by using private, secure, direct connections to the CSP’s of their choice. Multi-Cloud FAST Connect provides SLAs on cloud connectivity latency, throughput, and availability that enterprises can monitor closely.
- Cost-efficient Migration. Companies can enjoy significant savings by reducing network costs for migrating massive amounts of data between different cloud platforms.
- Access to a Wide Choice of Cloud Regions. Connected to and through HKT partner’s global cloud networks, Multi-Cloud FAST Connect can offer better workload distribution by connecting directly to 102 cloud on-ramps across 57 cloud regions around the world.
- End-to-End, Cross-Border Solution. This delivers a one-stop, end-to-end solution to connect an enterprise’s in-house IT infrastructure to the public cloud, backed by HKT’s local, cross-border and global network infrastructure.
- Professional Onboarding Service. HKT can accelerate an enterprise’s journey to multi-clouds with key services ranging from cloud network design, implementation and project management, to customizing interconnected set-ups with CSPs and on-going operations management.
3 real-world uses
Some typical direct cloud connectivity scenarios are as follows:
1. Secure and Cost-efficient Cloud Backup
When an enterprise wants to streamline its daily data backup to the cloud, it faces two challenges: the cost of maintaining a redundant direct leased-line cloud connection solely for data backup; and the risk of backing up sensitive data through the public internet.
HKT’s direct multi-cloud connectivity service offers a dedicated and reliable connection to CSPs that bypasses the public internet, while allowing improved cost efficiency by scaling up bandwidth only when backing up data to the cloud, and then scaling down when the job is done.
2. Easier Path to Multi-cloud
Deploying and managing a heterogeneous, globally distributed multi-cloud platform from a single location is complex and costly. A direct multi-cloud connectivity service like HKT’s allows enterprises to choose and connect to leading CSPs in different geographic regions using a single platform in Hong Kong. They also enjoy access to HKT cloud platform experts who can help to optimize connectivity to the CSPs of their choice, and thus enjoy the flexibility to spread different workloads across different global CSPs in different regions. This is ideal for meeting local legal and regulatory compliance requirements, optimizing performance for local users, and achieving global cloud platform resilience.
3. Optimizes Hybrid IT Strategy
Many enterprises today are embracing hybrid IT architectures. This offers some of the benefits of the public cloud, while allowing sensitive data and applications to stay on premise, but it also increases complexity.
A direct multi-cloud connectivity service like HKT’s optimizes the hybrid cloud environment, by connecting an enterprises’ private IT infrastructure to leading CSPs using low latency, high-performance, scalable and secure connections that bypass the public internet. At the same time, business-sensitive data can reside in the HKT SkyExchange networked facilities management centers to maximize data protection and compliance.
Enterprise IT teams can also manage their entire global or regional hybrid cloud infrastructure from a single location. When there is a connectivity issue, they simply call HKT's local support.
Choose the right path to multi-cloud
While it is certain that the trend of multi-cloud deployment will continue to grow, direct multi-cloud connectivity will soon be the norm. Enterprises should choose a direct cloud connectivity service which can support multiple direct connections to a mix of CSPs that fit their business needs. This will give them the flexibility to expand their existing CSP platforms or migrate to new CSP platforms at any time. Thus, allowing them to maximize the choice and agility benefits of multi-clouds.
HKT (SEHK: 6823) is Hong Kong's premier telecommunications service provider and leading operator in fixed-line, broadband and mobile communication services. It meets the needs of the Hong Kong public and local and international businesses with a wide range of services including local telephony, local data and broadband, international telecommunications, mobile, and other telecommunications businesses such as customer premises equipment sales, outsourcing, consulting, and contact centers.
HKT offers a unique quadruple-play experience in Hong Kong delivering media content on its fixed-line, broadband Internet access and mobile platforms jointly with its parent company, PCCW Limited.
HKT also provides a range of innovative and smart living services beyond connectivity to make the daily lives of customers more convenient, whether they are at home, in the workplace, or on the go. For more information, please visit www.hkt.com.