Cloud Connect: How it can reduce latency, save costs, and lock down security
Gain a dedicated connection to the public cloud of your choice - and reap all the benefits.

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More organizations are making the move to the public cloud. As they do, one of the more important questions they’ll have to answer is how to connect their network to their cloud storage and workloads.

For some, connecting through the public internet might be fine. But if your data transfers or workloads will hog bandwidth, the data is sensitive, or you’re trying to control costs, a dedicated connection often makes more sense.

While the benefits of the public cloud are well documented, it can be difficult to achieve consistent, reliable, and secure performance without a direct connection to the cloud.

That’s why many organizations migrating to the cloud are looking into Cloud Connect.

What is Cloud Connect?

Cloud Connect – think data center cross-connect – is another data center circuit that grants you a dedicated connection to the public cloud of your choice.

As a “hand off” between the internet line you’re using to connect your data center to the cloud, Cloud Connect lets you circumvent the public internet, giving you a more seamless and effective connection to the cloud.

Why should I look into Cloud Connect?

There are three major benefits:

1. Financial: Public cloud providers almost always charge you to pull data from the cloud to your on-premises data center. Eventually, if you’re moving enough data, these egress fees can start to add up. In some cases, cloud providers will reduce your egress charges if you’re using a Cloud Connect.

In addition, many big cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure will offer you incentives to connect directly to the cloud.

2. Performance: You don’t want your AWS or Azure traffic, which tends to be mission-critical, shared with your regular traffic like email. By creating a dedicated line to your cloud, you avoid the potential for latency issues with your most critical data.

Also, sometimes when you’re running specific workloads or applications in the cloud, you need to make sure you’re interconnecting with the cloud at a precise location. For example, if you’re running workloads out of the Midwest, you’ll likely want to connect to the Midwest facility or Midwest data center of whichever cloud provider you’re using.

Cloud Connect offers you a more reliable method for achieving this, increasing performance and ensuring that whatever you’re running in the cloud is running effectively.

3. Security: Cloud Connect gives you a dedicated connection between your data center and the cloud. As a result, it’s private, secure, and your data no longer travels across the public internet.

What should you look for in a Cloud Connect carrier?

There are number of Cloud Connect carriers out there. The key to determining which carrier makes the most sense for you is location. As I mentioned earlier, it can make a big difference where you’re connecting to the cloud, and that should narrow your choices.

Within a data center facility, the number of Cloud Connect carriers can vary. A large data center in New York might have 20 active carriers for you to choose from, while a smaller data center may have fewer available.

In fact, only certain data centers in any given region offer Cloud Connect to specific providers.

If you’re already situated in a data center and none of the active carriers have Cloud Connect to the public cloud you need, you’ll have to find a more personalized design for your connection needs. This is something a managed partner can help you with.

If you already know what carrier you prefer to use, what cloud service you’re adopting, and what location you need to connect in, you’re in a good place to start.

Cloud Connect as part of your cloud migration strategy

Many companies are still figuring out their cloud strategies.

Some organizations have already migrated to the cloud and are taking steps to get the most out of it. Other companies have made the move before they were ready and now must take a step back and reevaluate. Many others are preparing to make the move for the first time.

Regardless of where you stand in your journey, you should consider Cloud Connect as part of your cloud migration strategy. It gives you a direct and dedicated line to the cloud, offers you a more seamless way to connect to the applications you’re running in the cloud, and provides a safer means of travel.

By routing your traffic effectively, you ensure you’re getting the most out of your daily traffic and being strategic about your cloud offerings.

Plus, some companies offer Cloud Connects with no long-term commitment or contract, making them an easy tool to utilize while your cloud strategy takes shape.

To learn more about Cloud Connect and how it can help your cloud journey, contact your SHI account executive.

Ryan Kuczynski contributed to this post.