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Hybrid networks and cloud computing
To date, applications in corporate data centers and private clouds have been strictly segregated from applications in the public cloud. Each application was deployed in accordance with its corresponding data security and accessibility requirements.
Hybrid cloud computing dispenses with this separation. It enables the dynamic distribution of applications and databases across corporate data centers, private and public cloud environments
Compute processes can be dynamically assigned with fluctuating business needs. Cloud computing, both public and private, provides an economic way to scalability, as IT resources can be activated or deactivated at short notice according to changing demand.
Distribution of applications across multiple, even heterogenic IT environments allows workload balancing. Moreover, it is possible to create redundancy across multiple geographies and cloud environments when data backup and a high-availability of applications are important.
These developments significantly impact the structure of enterprise IT. Public and private clouds, and corporate data centers have to become a far more integrated part of the network environment in order to support a truly any to any communication model with dynamically changing patterns and utilization profiles and the ubiquitous need for Internet access. Within traditional architectures, the Intranet was encapsulated on private network platforms.
Internet access typically was controlled at one or two central gateways with restrictive security policies. In the future, the Internet and private platforms, such as Ethernet and MPLS, will have to be much more integrated to ensure seamless communication between public and private cloud environments.
The new hybrid structure is likely to incur more volatile traffic patterns such as load peaks when virtual machines or databases are copied or moved between data centers. The new hybrid network must be able to respond to this dynamic pattern, and to distribute workloads as uniformly as possible across the infrastructure in the most economical way.
The hybrid corporate network also addresses rising demand for bandwidth.
It must distribute traffic in accordance with application needs across network structures of differing quality and cost (i.e. high-end and low-end connectivity), with the goal of cost minimization, while providing the best end-user experience.
Hybrid networks support hybrid cloud computing. The fast paced cloud computing market forces a change in the networking industry and for the first time in more than a decade an increasing number of venture capital backed start-ups enter the market for international IP VPN in order to participate in the new and fast-growing market for hybrid networks.
Traditional enterprise network service providers will have to reengineer their platforms and products if they wish to remain competitive in the cloud computing era.
The term “hybrid network” generally describes a combination of two or more network types or technologies, typically with different security requirements (i.e. Internet and private platforms). Gateways between the different networks are installed either within the context of one corporate network (typically one per office) or in a shared context within the service provider’s network platform. Dynamic- or static network traffic policies ensure each communication stream on the network uses the most cost-effective channel in accordance with each application’s security- and quality of service requirements.
Hybrid telecommunications networks can combine a number of different network platforms:
- Fiber optics networks to satisfy very high bandwidth requirements for example for the interconnection of data centers,
- The Internet with a variety of possible network access types such as cable modem, DSL, LTE or Ethernet,
- Private platform Ethernet networks for high-speed layer-2 links,
- Private platform IP VPN – the current quasi-standard in large corporate network landscapes most often uses MPLS in the core layer.