The shift of enterprise architecture to the cloud has been growing steadily over the last few years, and as businesses become more comfortable with adoption criteria like security and trust, its popularity has rapidly accelerated. Enterprises are realizing the benefit of not having to invest in expensive infrastructure and are enjoying the ease of scalability. In 2019, enterprises will need to balance their compute and application stack between the public cloud and private data centers, perpetuating the rise of a hybrid cloud environment. A key driver behind this trend is that end users are concerned about transferring their entire stack to the cloud due to performance, security, and regulatory reasons amongst others, as well as the cost implications of key applications in the cloud. For instance, some applications have significant latency or privacy needs and are best suited to be within an organization’s private data center.
When applications are migrated to the cloud and shift away from users, the network becomes an increasingly critical component of the service, as performance lives and dies across the network. Greater attention will be paid by enterprises to ensuring they are architecting the right network for themselves. The initial strategy of accessing the cloud over the internet will be migrating to private connections directly into cloud onramps. As the market matures, these direct, private connections are improving around each critical consideration factor of performance, security, and cost. It’ll be important for organizations to consider network decisions beyond just bandwidth to include elements such as network type, as we believe private connections will increasingly dominate mindshare. These decisions also include the need to manage network diversity at “the last mile” in the route between the enterprise and cloud on-ramp or data center.
In the same vein, we expect to see the continued build-out of cloud on-ramps in 2019 as players such as cloud application providers have achieved a scale where performance between them and their user base dictate that they start to put these on-ramps in place. This will improve the performance of the application and also provide an opportunity for network providers to address new connectivity needs. Moreover, these on-ramps will increasingly be built in closer proximity to users, not simply in major markets at carrier hotels, in order to create competitive advantages.
Some Final Thoughts
2019 will be an exciting time to witness the evolution of hybrid clouds and assess their importance to enterprise productivity. As application consumption shifts, so will the underlying network architecture and considerations. This places challenges and opportunities in front of all participants in the connectivity space, from the enterprise to the network and service provider. Success will be determined by the ability to make intelligence, information-driven decisions about architecture, and engagement to capitalize on these changes.
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