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Plan for the future of interconnectivity

(Image credit: Image Credit: Melpomene / Shutterstock)

The business world is seeing a huge shift in the way it is using connectivity to achieve its digital transformation goals. While cloud continues to be the dominant force in enterprise IT, what has changed is a growing understanding that connectivity is the key to make the cloud journey successful. And here’s why.

It is estimated that by the end of 2020, 83 per cent of enterprise workloads will run in the cloud. As cloud tech gets smarter and the offerings from cloud service providers (CSPs) become more compelling, more businesses are realising the efficiencies gained by moving certain application workloads into public cloud environments. This will make it easier for IT leaders to make the decision to complete the cloud migration of workloads that have previously been confined to aging legacy infrastructure whilst creating an optimised hybrid cloud architecture that takes advantage of both private IT resources and public cloud infrastructure.

Nevertheless, in the last year businesses have seen more than just integration, but transformation and adaptation as well - a trend that we will see continue to see in 2020. However, migrating to the cloud isn’t the end of the story; it’s just the beginning of a new one. As organisations seek the best deployment model for their internal needs and customer demands in the years ahead, they should also remember to invest in the correct level of interconnectivity needed to support their cloud ambitions – today and in the future.

The booming growth of hybrid cloud

We are seeing a significant rise in the number of companies exploring the hybrid cloud model, as the leading cloud adopters look for ways to improve operations and get more from their technology. At the same time, we’re witnessing a major uptick in multicloud usage as the industry develops and diversifies, providing organisations with a plethora of choice.

By taking advantage of this choice and building their own hybrid cloud environments, companies can create an infrastructure that fits their exact specifications of all their workloads, rather than opting for a solution that might not meet their needs. As a result, many new cloud adopters are using it as their default option.

Conversely, with so many powerful applications available in the cloud today, many businesses are waking up to the fact that they can’t get the best spread from a single provider and are, therefore, going multicloud. In 2020, organisations will hedge their bets by having the same application available from several cloud providers. They will place a premium on the ability to switch among these different clouds both quickly and efficiently. While in previous years, many enterprises went all-in with a single cloud vendor, they no longer want to be beholden to one cloud vendor.

However, businesses are finding this easier said than done and are experiencing real challenges in connecting together the various public clouds that comprise their multicloud architectures. One key aspect of interoperation and multicloud success that can make or break the creation of an infrastructure is the connectivity between the public clouds.

The rise of edge computing is further complicating matters. The initial rollout of 5G networks in the UK means the cloud is getting closer to consumer and professional devices as well as data sources. With lower latency, smarter bandwidth utilisation, and more control over where data’s going and what it’s doing, organisations are able to run analytics and other latency intolerant applications faster than ever.

However, with so much more processing, storage, and analysis being completed at the edge of the network – rather than at centralised data centres – businesses should focus on looking for solutions that deliver strong, reliable, and high-capacity connectivity.

Regardless of what new forms the cloud is taking, the direction of travel is clear: all models need consistent and flexible connectivity. Hybrid and multicloud connectivity require a private, direct, and dedicated solution, to support operations across multiple cloud environments, or cloud and on-premises systems.

The year of hyperconvergence

With the rise of both hybrid and multicloud approaches, 2019 has was a year that saw some major changed in how IT and network teams operate. How they traditionally defined their day-to-day has changed and the core of their roles has transformed – they’re now much more comfortable and confident managing applications and services as their role has evolved away from spending time managing infrastructure.

Hyperconvergence describes an IT framework that connects storage, computing and networking together in a single system to reduce complexity and increase system stability. This organises all of your connections from one place and brings the network together into a single platform. Rather than managing each resource separately, the rationale is to reduce complexity and improve responsiveness by bringing everything together into a seamless process.

In 2020, we can expect this initial shift to help push hyperconverged infrastructure further into the mainstream and become a core part of all IT professionals job description.

As businesses increasingly realise that they’re spending too many resources ‘keeping the lights on’, many will seek out new ways of accessing, assembling, and paying for their on-premises infrastructure. This will naturally lead them to modern, hyperconverged options.

By abstracting critical elements of their infrastructure using hyperconverged tools, businesses can spend less time worrying about keeping legacy hardware running, and more time focusing on the mission-critical applications their company and customers depend on.

Bringing it all together

To truly take advantage of everything these new technologies have to offer and drive a business forward, organisations must find new ways of connecting their disparate data silos to build a stable, scalable foundation for connectivity. With ever-growing cloud adoption that is becoming more specialised and in need of integration, businesses need a connected system that allows both the timely analysis of data, and the reliable delivery of services to business users and consumers alike.

In 2020 the importance of migrating into an interconnected future will manifest itself. Enterprise connectivity products and solutions work together to make interconnection seamless, strong, and reliable. Organisations must make interconnectivity a top priority to expand and deliver long-term value to their cloud and on-premises environments.

Eric Troyer, Chief Marketing Officer, Megaport

Eric Troyer is Chief Marketing Officer at Megaport, a leading Network as a Service company. He has over 20 years of internet infrastructure experience working in marketing strategy, business development, product management, and engineering. Previously, Eric held management roles at Microsoft, Equinix, and Cablevision.