Connecting to the Cloud

Cloud computing has become a flexible and convenient way to deliver IT resources for a variety of purposes. But when your business depends on a connection to remote servers, data storage and other important applications, having the right connection is essential.

 

Cloud and connectivity are naturally deeply interrelated. Having a dependable link to cloud services is crucial to their availability, performance, and security. This is why it greatly matters if your cloud provider is an established and successful telecommunications company.

There are three ways to access the cloud:

  1. Via the public Internet.
  2. Via a virtual private network (VPN) connection over the public Internet.
  3. Via a private data line.

If you use the cloud to run customer-facing services, such as an online shop, web portal or a support ticketing system, it is particularly important to ensure the service provides safe connectivity to the public Internet. And that is exactly what Deutsche Telekom offers in a number of European countries – a solid and secured Internet connection, without limit on transferred data and a choice of additional premium services including dedicated high data transferring speeds, service level agreements (SLAs) and protection from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

However, when running internal company applications in the public cloud, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, connecting via the public Internet may not be the most secure or practical method. An advanced and customisable VPN connection is the minimum solution but using a private network is highly advisable.

This provides a significant advantage over public cloud providers operating from overseas, since they simply cannot offer a similar service. Obtaining anything comparable would be prohibitively expensive and complicated due to the distances involved. Moreover, the Internet – by design – provides few guarantees. Using it as a conduit for sensitive internal company IT services remains risky, so that only selected international public cloud providers would be a reasonable choice.

Another practical connection to the cloud is using VPN or multiprotocol label switching (MPLS). Virtual servers, load-balancers and other cloud components can use an internal IP addressing specific to the customer. Hence from the network point of view, the IT services can be built on a public cloud using a very transparent extension of the customer’s current internal company network.

The benefits of public cloud computing are becoming irresistible to businesses of all shapes and sizes. And there is no doubt that the IT environment of many companies and organisations will soon go virtual. But just remember: When making the move to the cloud, choosing the right connectivity and security environment is as crucial as the switch itself.

Miroslav Pikus
  • Author: Miroslav Pikus
  • Title: ICT Expert for Cloud, Slovak Telekom
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