Trends in multicloud management and connectivity
In Part 1 of this article, we sat down with Jérôme Dilouya, CEO of Intercloud, a cloud connectivity specialist, with a view to getting clarity on the latest trends in multicloud management and connectivity, and how and why they could save businesses money.
We identified the need for robust cybersecurity, and the opportunities that exist for significant cost management when choosing connectivity partners, particularly when dealing with the relatively niche need for private cloud connectivity.
While we had him in the chair, we asked Jérôme about the importance of digitization when it came to scaling business at speed – and how multicloud management and connectivity could help with that.
There’s a way of making this a really short answer. Everybody, particularly the bigger organizations, is knocking themselves out trying to do digitization – you have sales reps sleeping on the premises at Microsoft just to get digitization done.
A game of clouds.
But of course, the more the world is using cloud computing to do whatever it wants, the more it will need pipes (allocations of connectivity). In our case, and the case of the other companies that do what we do, there’s a trick. It’s great that the economy is going towards cloud computing, but it’s better for companies like Instagram, especially in terms of multicloud.
Five years ago, AWS claimed that the end game of multicloud was that everything would merge into one cloud.
A game with one winner? A Game of Clouds?
The thing is, the beautiful world we’re in now, there’s no more of that situation. Now a large organization could go “I’m going to move 80% of my asset to Azure. No, I’m going to move 50% of my assets to AWS, Google Azure, and a bunch of others for backup reasons.”
For all those, it’s not just the scaling and the speed of adoption of multicloud that’s important, it’s also how they’re scattered all across the globe.
Great. We’ve heard that analytics at the edge is getting to be particularly important too. Is that so? And if so, why?
What we call analytics at the edge is the ability to show to the customer exactly what’s happening on AWS and Azure, and Google or Alibaba, without directly asking them.
That might initially seem stupid, but let’s imagine you spend 10 million Euros a year on AWS, and you know what’s on it, you have the check. But you don’t exactly know what the usage is of every single application you have on there. There’s a way to know it: you just sit down right in front of the pipe that goes into AWS, and look at what’s happening.
Imagine actually doing that. You’d have no time to do anything else. So in practical terms, you can’t do it that way. Certainly if you’re a corporate, you can’t do it, because you don’t have the assets in the right places. All you have is, for instance, the reporting from AWS.
So you trust AWS about the metrics for its own billing. You have no choice. And maybe you also know that egress (the traffic going out of the cloud infrastructure) is awfully expensive. So when you go on private connectivity, you pay less egress, and you’re getting analytics on that egress, so you know exactly what that amounts to. Boom – you know where that traffic is going on, or from. And that’s something that helps a lot of our customers in terms of the cost management we mentioned in Part 1.
The other impact of analytics at the edge seems obvious. It’s compliance. For most of our customers, because they’re present in hundreds of countries across the globe, they need to prove that, for example, personal data in Germany is not getting out of Germany. That’s the law.
How can you prove it if you don’t get enough analytics on the network?
And again, to get analytics on the network is stupidly complicated. You need to have eyes on both ends. How can you get eyes in Frankfurt if you’re a US-based company? You can’t – you need people like us. The by-product of having a huge network now means analytics at the edge has a real impact for our customers.
In search of the mythical Cloud Guy.
The value chain is supposed to be expanding. Does that have an impact in economic or technological terms?
It does, but it’s a strange one. For 20 years, when you had a network problem, you talked with the head of network. They were your go-to person.
Now if you have network problem, you need to find “the Cloud Guy.”
In an organization like a big bank, they’re not likely to be sitting in the same building. They’re very probably not sitting in the same country. Because the Cloud Guy is just the guy who understands cloud infrastructure in what is probably not a very cloud-educated organization.
That person is likely to be in the dev team, and when I say the dev team for a bank, they’re probably sitting in India in an outsourced company. But that’s the guy who will say, “I need 10GB in London instead of 10GB in Dublin!” If you can’t find that guy, your network will be a mess.
So that’s stupid, that as a network service provider, our Salesforce sales reps spend more time hunting down and talking to Cloud Guys, Site Reliability Engineers, for example, than to old school networking guys that were asking about the size of the pipe or the type of equipment we we’re going to put in.
The real question is why organizations move their core ASPs from Azure in Zurich to Azure in Frankfurt, for instance. Oh, because it’s cheaper? Great – do you think the network will follow that just because you did it? So for some of our customers, that was really a big disruption in the way they governed their internal infrastructure.
We get it now. From a very particular point of view it makes sense, but to everyone else…
Yes. Because they move happily for the technology and the system, and they move really fast. But inside an organization… Most of these organizations are 100 or 150 years old, and they’re not evolving at the pace of the month or quarter.
So in summary, to make the most of multicloud management and technology:
- Make and keep your cybersecurity robust.
- Get the best, most flexible deals you can to keep your cost management tight.
- Keep an eye on digitization and scaling – across the world, rather than in one place.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of analytics at the edge, and
- Keep a close eye on the key personnel you’ll need to refer back to as the value chain expands.
22 February 2024
22 February 2024
21 February 2024