WANs and the Cloud

Michelle DeFiore

blog-200912-sunny-clouds-600pxAs more organizations move to cloud computing solutions, Jim Metzler at Network World introduces the effect this will have on the WAN. For starters, he defines public and private cloud:

Public cloud: using a WAN to access IT resources from a third party (Google, Amazon or Salesforce) where the third party resources perform as service providers. The private cloud is when IT organizations use the same techniques as cloud computing providers inside of their company.

In the private cloud, the organization acts as the service provider for the internal customers. The primary characteristics of private cloud computing are server consolidation and virtualization.

Research shows that most organizations have already consolidated some servers and about 40% have consolidated the majority of their servers into centralized data centers.

As organizations increase their adoption of both private and public cloud computing, the WAN will be involved in an increasing percentage of instances when users access application and storage, resulting in additional security vulnerabilities.

IT organizations should implement WAN optimization controllers (WOC) functionality in their data centers and remote offices. For organizations using public clouds, both the IT organization and the public cloud providers must implement WOC functionality.

Since WOCs are proprietary, the IT organization and the public cloud provider must implement WOCs from the same vendor, meaning WOC functionality should be part of the overall service being delivered to the customer.

For both private and public cloud solutions, Application 2.0 WOCs will need to scale for more throughput and more sessions than Application 1.0 WOCs.

Because of its well-known issues and performance problems, the Internet is not always the most appropriate WAN service to use to access cloud computing solutions.

Research shows that IT organizations are slightly more likely to use the Internet over other WAN services when accessing public cloud services and they are more likely to use a WAN service other than the Internet when accessing private cloud services.

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