In the quest to reduce costs, many companies are approaching their cloud strategies from an operational perspective. Those with traditional connectivity such as MPLS are seeking to evolve their approach and determine what and how to migrate, alongside how their applications will work across those networks. However, the acceleration of IoT and the need to move workloads closer to users is shifting the focus of cloud discussions to one of growth and opportunity. Multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud will become an important enabler in this journey but to realise their benefits, companies will first have to overcome some inherent obstacles around proximity, connectivity and latency.
With as many as 125 billion IoT devices set to be connected to the internet by 2030, businesses face an ongoing challenge to process and analyse rapidly growing data volumes from multiple sources. Performing this analysis as close as possible to the location where it is generated will be crucial to providing real-time feedback and the best possible experience for end users.
Tackling proximity bias
The problem with traditional approaches such as public cloud is that, all too often, it is simply too far away from these sources – whether the customer, an employee or a machine generating the data – to deliver a competitive advantage.
Added to this, regional businesses face the challenge of being located away from highly connected technology hubs such as London and the South East. As such, they will likely suffer from a latency disadvantage to those in closer proximity. Those that fail to seize the opportunities of multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud also open themselves up to more global risk, battling against competing organisations located anywhere in the world that can quickly scale through international low-latency connections.
Enabling cloud connectivity in-region
This growing need for proximity is driving increased demand for cloud connectivity in-region and the emergence of software defined connectivity options with edge networking capabilities are set to open up a new wave of possibilities.
Pulsant’s partnership with leading Network-as-a-Service provider Megaport is enabling businesses to connect their infrastructure to Megaport’s points of presence housed within Pulsant’s regional data centres across the UK to access a multi-cloud ecosystem. As a result, they will be able to deliver applications to 97% of the UK in less than five milliseconds, removing most of the common latency barriers.
From a global perspective, this allows any customer connecting into Pulsant’s data centres to take advantage of Megaport from all around the world. Essentially, anyone within one of Megaport’s 700+ enabled data centres or an SD-WAN solution that’s integrated with Megaport can jump onto the network and make their way around UK locations or indeed anywhere globally and get connectivity to the cloud. A SaaS provider in Australia, for example, can begin offering solutions and benefits to clients in Newcastle in a way that simply would not have been possible before. Similarly, a UK company that wishes to share applications internationally and across dispersed branches can now use the Megaport network to achieve that reach.
This is a radical break away from the traditional model which was to pull all branches back to a central hub. The reality today, and in the future, is that customers want more flexibility for their edge locations to go directly to the cloud and have the flexibility and choice to access what they really need.
A game changer for regional businesses
For regional businesses, it is a significant move as, traditionally, they would have had to establish all their PoPs and cloud connections in London. However, deploying these in a distributed regional network and being able to hop on to a high speed, low latency network at any location is enabling them to connect to the cloud much quicker.
To properly prepare for these opportunities, regional businesses need to consider their best route forward. They should be thinking about which parts of their infrastructure will work better in the cloud and which parts should remain on-premise. Businesses also need to understand how their applications will work across a hybrid cloud environment. Getting clear-cut answers may require enlisting a third party organisation such as Pulsant that has expertise in networking and hybrid cloud, and can take the time to truly understand the business and its unique requirements before mapping out the journey.
Pulsant’s partnership with Megaport is directly addressing the growing need for diverse, far-reaching low-latency connectivity in every region of the UK. To find out more, please visit the Cloud Connect webpage.