Distributed network architecture offers a better way to build connectivity and cross-connect to cloud, SaaS and telecom service providers.

April 18, 2022

4 Min Read
cloud network

By Mark McCoy


Mark McCoy

Think of the enterprise cloud adoption journey as traveling on a highway — companies want to get to their destination quickly, safely, and to feel that the trip was planned efficiently.

Connecting to the highway is where networking comes in. Traditional networking doesn’t provide good proximity for those looking to get on the highway, or secure ways to merge onto multiple cloud providers and then back to the home infrastructure — nor does it allow for the traffic to expand in a way that makes for a good traveling experience.

Additionally, enterprise organizations aren’t only leveraging multiple cloud providers, but also a mix of cloud and on-premises workloads. There are multiple reasons why organizations opt for this hybrid cloud model. They may be multinational with employees and assets in several different countries. If they’re located in or operate in the European Union, they’re subject to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, which sets standards around data collection, storage and usage, and changes how companies manage consumer privacy. This will get them thinking about their goals, and for many, it’s about staying in compliance while reducing latency and network costs and increasing network bandwidth.

As this shift occurs, organizations find themselves wanting to solve the challenges a hybrid cloud model presents to connectivity, challenges which include capacity, speed, security, resiliency, ease of maintenance and scaling. One way to do this is via a distributed network architecture.

More organizations are shifting away from the traditional network architecture approach to take advantage of the benefits of moving workloads and data to the appropriate cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider. This allows the organization to stop purchasing and having to maintain hardware and take advantage of the ever-expanding capability and capacity of cloud and SaaS providers. Agility at scale.

Distributed cloud and edge models push the limits of classical approaches to network architecture, according to Gartner.

Why Use a Distributed Network Architecture?

As organizations move to hybrid cloud usage, they require a different approach to visibility, security, high availability, and resiliency while gaining flexibility. They must shift to a decentralized solution.

If they don’t have internal expertise, a third party can help organizations assess the best approach by asking questions about where they want their applications housed, both short- and long-term, where the consumers of those applications are, and what is the best way to easily deploy and maintain them.

They’ll also work with the organization to find hubs or colocation data centers that function as an on-ramp to all of the organization’s users and compute assets, including on-premises, cloud and SaaS providers, as well as telecom providers. This will ensure the appropriate geographic location and the right level of connectivity to those hubs.

Connecting to a new SaaS or cloud provider in the traditional model can be difficult due to the effort required and the time to deploy. It requires provisioning routers, servers and circuit drops within or to an internal data center; even if you’ve planned for it, there’s typically a six-month lead time. That takes away speed and flexibility and, ultimately, the ability to be agile and competitive. Businesses can die if they have to wait. It requires a mindset change.

ROI of Moving to Distributed Network Architecture

Today’s business is about staying competitive, being agile and moving quickly. A distributed network architecture (DNA) enables you to use the services that meet your needs. It gives your business the ability to scale cloud and SaaS providers and add new carriers and locations quickly and securely, at the lowest cost.

The numbers are also compelling. Distributed network architecture customers report being able to:

  • Reduce latency by 73%

  • Reduce network costs by 43%

  • Increasing bandwidth by 700%

  • Provision new services in days or hours — not months

  • They also report helping organizations achieve increased availability to as great as seven 9s.

  • It’s time to consider taking a trip down that highway and updating your network infrastructure.

With cloud and SaaS services becoming more viable and with colocation facilities in hundreds of locations, you can build new, seamless connectivity and cross-connect to cloud, SaaS and telecom service providers. These benefits are available to everyone still using a traditional network architecture. It’s all about finding the best fit for your organization.

Mark McCoy is managing partner and lead cloud architect at Asperitas Consulting, where he’s focused on helping enterprise customers migrate to the cloud and optimizing applications to take advantage of cloud environments. McCoy has deep experience in migrating large enterprises into secure cloud environments utilizing multicloud, multiaccount and hybrid-cloud strategies. You may follow him on LinkedIn and @Asperitascloud on Twitter.

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