At the root of a company’s infrastructure is an essential yet often overlooked piece: direct cloud connectivity. More than internal data stores, there are often specific networks for external and cloud-based services. The speed and agility they provide are unmatched by traditional on-premise deployments.
You need to have direct connectivity with your cloud provider and multiple backup options in case of issues with your primary line of connectivity. Nearly every company must consider implementing this model to leverage the benefits of cloud-based technology truly. It provides access to remote computing resources and gains a competitive edge.
This article will discuss direct cloud connectivity and how it optimizes an organization’s infrastructure. We explain how it enables organizations to quickly provision and respond to changing cybersecurity threats.
What Is Direct Cloud Connectivity?
Direct cloud connectivity helps organizations connect directly to cloud computing resources. Instead of connecting to a third-party provider, your organization can use a cloud service provider’s network by establishing a virtual private connection between your local infrastructure and the provider’s equipment.
This solution combines high availability and performance with lower storage costs and reduced management complexity. The combination also offers access to files on-demand without needing local data storage. Organizations can focus on growing their business with direct cloud connectivity instead of managing data.
The Benefits of Direct Cloud Connectivity
Migrating to direct cloud connectivity provides businesses with several benefits, including:
Your business data is only as good as its access, no matter where you are. With direct cloud connectivity, your employees can stay connected to your data, software, and cloud applications wherever they are in the world.
Stronger Cloud Infrastructure Security
Businesses have an encrypted pathway between their IT infrastructure and their cloud service provider’s network with a direct cloud connection. Companies can connect to their private cloud or data center directly and bypass public networks altogether.
When you connect your servers to a cloud service, you have access to an infrastructure that can handle immense traffic. It’s an excellent option for businesses looking to scale rapidly in response to customer demand and launch new products.
Higher Edge Computing ROI
The closer your data is to your end-user, the less bandwidth you’ll need to send it back and forth. Cloud services are also cheaper than traditional IT options, especially over time.
Because you’re only paying for what you use, your monthly bills will be less than if you purchased dedicated hardware and software. Ultimately, direct connectivity helps organizations save money on network bandwidth costs, increasing your return on investment (ROI).
Improved Speed and Reliability
You can always retrieve and send data as quickly as possible with direct access to your cloud storage account. Because there’s no intermediary between you and your cloud storage service, you don’t have to worry about anything getting delayed or lost in transit.
What Does It Mean To Optimize Infrastructure?
Whether public, private, or hybrid, optimizing your cloud infrastructure is critical to any cloud strategy. Optimizing your organization’s cloud infrastructure means ensuring that all your systems work together efficiently.
It means making sure that data is backed up and secure, as well as making sure that you’re using all of your resources effectively. For example, optimizing workloads and leveraging cloud bursting are two examples of how to optimize your infrastructures for success.
8 Tips on How To Optimize Your Organization’s Cloud Infrastructure
If you’ve never optimized your cloud infrastructure before, it might be a good idea to consider these eight tips for optimizing your organization’s cloud infrastructure.
Define Your KPIs for Success
Your first step in developing a cloud infrastructure strategy is defining what will make it successful. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the external metrics you will use to measure the success of your cloud strategy.
Cloud connectivity KPIs include cost, performance, and flexibility. You need to consider them all when setting up your cloud security measures. You can use these metrics to monitor performance and get real-time feedback about your operations.
Having clear goals for your business will also help you determine whether you need to adjust certain aspects of your plan as it progresses. In addition, it will help establish benchmarks against which you can compare data to know if everything is running smoothly.
Hire a Professional
Even if you have a vision for your cloud environment, countless decisions can make or break an implementation. When a cloud infrastructure is poorly planned, implemented, and managed, it could lead to substantial losses.
If you’re uncomfortable with where your organization stands in cloud readiness, hire an experienced professional who can do it for you. A professional services provider (PSP) will guide best practices, help design your solution and work alongside your team as they deploy it.
Understand Your Company’s Appetite for Risk
Ultimately, how comfortable your organization is with risks in infrastructure depends on what’s most important to your business. If you’re an enterprise that values reliability and availability above all else, then it’s probably best to avoid public cloud options.
But if you want a flexible environment that allows for maximum agility and scaling with minimal overhead, consider moving your infrastructure into one of these computing clouds. Whatever option you choose, communicate effectively with your technology team about the pros and cons of each option. Doing so can help them develop a robust set of metrics around each platform.
Understand Your Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
Cloud services are still subject to outages and data loss even though they may be much less frequent than your traditional in-house infrastructure. You must understand what guarantees your vendor offers and how they implement them, so you know what qualifies as an outage and react accordingly.
For example, if a failure of one part of a distributed system results in another going offline, users might blame an outage on your vendor. If you’re aware of how they work, however, you can make sure any downtime is clearly explained and adequately accounted for.
Utilize Automation Tools
Automation tools enable organizations to build machine learning models without heavy lifting. The results are more robust models that require minor tweaking and can significantly lower barriers to entry for companies looking to experiment with machine learning.
As a bonus, it also lowers operating costs by reducing instances of human error. Evaluate your organization’s data sources and ensure you have enough high-quality data for training purposes. But these tools could be invaluable if you’re already collecting large amounts of structured or semi-structured data.
Enforce Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)
A role-based access control system helps ensure that users can only access information based on their job requirements. You should use a separate service for each employee type, such as:
- Human Resources (HR)
- Sales and marketing
- Customer support
If your organization processes sensitive data, it’s crucial to have employees’ roles at least partially defined by their level of security clearance. When setting up your cloud infrastructure, consider using an RBAC system to help protect your most valuable data.
Ensure you choose providers who are compliant with applicable industry standards and regulations, such as HIPAA cloud compliance for healthcare organizations. These standards require additional protection measures like encryption, and auditing tools, which will help prevent unauthorized access to confidential data.
Migrate to New Technology Once It Becomes Available
To provide your users with a high level of performance, ensure that your organization’s cloud infrastructure is compatible with new technology as it becomes available. When planning additional software or hardware investments, keep a close eye on how they will fit into your existing infrastructure.
For example, if upgrading an on-premises application server, consider getting a better firewall to avoid slowing application response times. It might seem like an added expense initially, but ultimately, it could save you money by reducing operational costs.
Another option would be upgrading from a shared hosting provider to one with dedicated servers. This upgrade can significantly impact performance because fewer other websites share bandwidth with yours.
Be Flexible With Virtualization Licensing
Virtualization software has become essential to data center operations, but it’s easy to underestimate how flexible your licensing options are. You can use a single or a combination of product licenses, virtual machine (VM) licenses, physical-host licenses, or a combination of all three.
The key is to choose your licensing model based on what makes sense for your organization and infrastructure. You might consider using more than one license type if you have multiple products in your virtual environment.
VM licensing might be sufficient if you have only one application running on a virtual machine. If you need more flexibility regarding when and where applications run, then physical-host licensing might be best for you. These options give you flexibility, so you don’t lose everything else if one product fails.
With direct cloud connectivity, you optimize your infrastructure to improve collaboration and integration within your business environment and manage itself more efficiently. The result is a better user experience, a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), and a streamlined IT department focusing on innovation instead of day-to-day maintenance.