Podcast: How to Plan Your Hybrid Cloud Network

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In the second episode of our Get IT: Finding Success with Hybrid Cloud in Canada podcast, KJ Burke and Puneet Duggal from CDW and Carlos Campos Torres from Cisco discuss hybrid cloud network architecture, making sure you know where workloads are and how to design and architect them with the hybrid cloud in mind. Here are some of the highlights of their conversation:

How to connect from on-premises networks to the cloud

Every time we talk about connecting to the cloud or from the cloud, or even across clouds, there are several things that come to mind. The first one is: How do I connect from on-premises environments to the cloud? There are many types of connections that can accomplish this:

  • SD-WAN
  • VPN
  • Direct Connect Mode on Cisco servers
  • Cloud-native technologies

Most of the time, there is a lot happening behind the scenes – manually creating VPNs, security, access, policy segmentation. So you start with a simple question “How do I connect to the cloud, or across clouds?” and you realize it takes way more than just a VPN tunnel. Maintaining it and scaling it becomes more complicated than you may have initially thought.

According to the CDW Canada Cloud Report, medium-sized organizations are really struggling with their ability to adopt public cloud services, in part due to complexity. The complexity of hybrid cloud networking really is a limiter for a lot of organizations.

Helping customers avoid pitfalls and get the value they’re expecting from the hybrid cloud

We’ve seen different companies at different sizes trying to find the best approach for themselves. If there’s a way to simplify cloud migration that’s GUI based, maybe they’ll look at that. If there’s a way to provide the agility to consummate changes and get information from what other departments are doing, that would help deliver more value. Ultimately, they’ll want to understand what a roadmap looks like, as applied to their unique cases, and how can they help make sure it’s going to be right for them.

At CDW Canada, we work with Cisco very closely to help our customers do a lot of that roadmap design across SD-WAN, Direct Connect and VPNs.

How to reduce complexity in the hybrid cloud

The reason that many companies want to migrate to the cloud is to accelerate innovation – especially right now, during COVID, when organizations have fewer people to manage infrastructure and less resources to drive that technology forward. If they can find a way to automate as much as they can, once everything is working, they can centralize and manage that infrastructure, inclusive of the network, so that if something fails, they’ll be able to troubleshoot and fix it quicker.

One of those areas we’re trying to focus on is how do we normalize that cloud operational model? No matter if you’re on-prem today, then you decide to go to one cloud or another, go back to a colocation facility, or to the edge… normalization of that experience, in terms of provisioning, managing and securing it is key.

Those are three main things that can help reduce complexity: provisioning, managing and then securing everything in an automated, artificial intelligence powerbase.

Helping customers manage their hybrid cloud network in the face of the pandemic

As our customers start looking at the future of their office strategy, we really wanted to help them understand what an office-centric vs. a remote-centric workforce looks like. We wanted to help them understand the complexity and see how can they get the right tools to have visibility, segmentation, to guarantee uptime.

So for medium-sized organizations that hadn’t already explored VDI, they needed to look at things in a different way to solve the problems that the rest of their organization was facing. What applications are mission-critical, and how do we guarantee uptime on those? How do we get more visibility into them, how do we make sure these are segmented, and how do we take a different approach?

COVID has really accelerated innovation in terms of what IT services are offering. And that’s how our customers are starting to look at IT. IT is seen now as more of a services organization, and it’s going to bring value to the line of business by allowing for integration.

For more hybrid cloud network insights, listen to Episode 2 now. And tune in weekly for additional podcasts in this series!

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