Network Design is Key to Cloud Computing – Study

In a research by Bain & Company in the Middle East, it revealed that cloud computing revenues can reach almost $150 billion in 2020, which accounts to 8% of the total technology expenditures. The research, titled “The Five Faces of the Cloud”, believes that the Middle East has to strengthen its network if the region wants to harness all of the benefits of cloud computing.

A common path which companies take when they shift their operations to the clouds is to use infrastructure applications or Software as a Service. Then, these firms move to a more open architecture with management tools and APIs. When companies take this path, they can organize their private datacenters in such a way that they can take advantage of different datacenters for easy deployment of applications and better workload mobility. This will also allow for the efficient and effective network to run.

Most companies in the Middle East take advantage of cloud infrastructure for storage to off-site datacenters. This can be beneficial for small and medium scale businesses which have low storage requirements. However, for large businesses, the requirements are greater. There is a need for larger storage space at a lower cost plus the ability of the network to move data without dropped packets, security holes, or bottlenecks.

Network virtualization offers efficiency and takes out the need for sizing of every network interconnection for peak capacity. It also lowers the costs because there is no need for network equipment investment. A virtualized network divides resources in virtual networks, virtual switches, virtual wavelengths, and virtual circuits.

Companies which move to the clouds must also plan for any worse-case scenario. There can be unexpected traffic peaks or a natural disaster. There may be a need to move the data stores or virtual machines to another data center not affected by the calamity. Thus, there is a need for a better network which can easily and quickly reallocate capacity to another data center without interrupting the business cycle.

When the cloud applications had been fully deployed, management will naturally ask for tangible benefits of such project. Therefore, a better network design is needed to provide such cloud benefits at lower costs, new functionalities, and lessened deployment time. As such, the network can be a deal breaker if it’s not designed correctly.

IT providers in the Middle East are driven to efficiencies. They strive to consolidate data centers then go for virtualization and eventually taking advantage of cloud computing services. It is possible to operate various datacenters and cause a 35% reduction in datacenter resources if the network is correctly implemented. Network acts as a backbone to all datacenters and enables efficient delivery of all cloud applications and services.

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