Connected Communities and the Importance of Networking

In today’s hyper-connected digital world, the importance of network connectivity cannot be overstated. Modern-day enterprises need powerful and reliable networking infrastructure if they are to avoid the consequences of lost productivity, profitability, and reputation. But, in the age where digital transformation has grown obligatory, the modern-day enterprise is disaggregating – and this poses a unique connectivity challenge.

Connectivity Today

Where once servers and storage resided in the enterprise data centre, now such resources are distributed outward towards the cloud in-line with a hybrid IT strategy. CRM platforms such as Salesforce and productivity tools like Office 365 are delivered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, and even customer-to-supplier conversations are held in cyber-space.

This so-called ‘race to the cloud’ has delivered myriad advantages to enterprise organisations but it has also placed considerable strain on the network. Now, the sheer number of services that need to be connected is accelerating, and while the internet is often used to connect the miscellaneous dots, this creates a lack of control for businesses.

The Tale of Internet Connectivity

We’ve been teetering on the edge of this conundrum for a while and businesses have employed a range of tactics to counter internet reliance. MPLS used in conjunction with SD-WAN has grown to become the popular architecture of choice – particularly in the enterprise – but even this approach has its issues.

Traditionally, MPLS lines provided the secure, private connectivity for mission-critical information while SD-WAN optimised the data transfer. However, MPLS is expensive when dealing with high volumes of data transfer found in an enterprise and SD-WAN often sends more traffic over the internet to reduce the strain on MPLS, serving only to compound the original problem of lack of network control, as well as the familiar latency and lost packet issues.

Now, however, there is a solution that eliminates the internet element altogether – intra-data centre networking.

The Rise of Connected Communities

Intra-data centre networking is an approach to networking connectivity that builds connections in the data centre instead of over the internet.

Utilising colocation, enterprises deploy their own infrastructure into a multitenant data centre (MTDC) that also hosts on-ramps to clouds and service providers. From here the enterprise can tap into the services they need directly – be they market data providers, software vendors, or specialist connectivity providers – instead of relying on internet connectivity.

The result is a connected community, one where enterprises can access a rich array of platform and service providers including connectivity providers, cloud services, IT services, financial services, IT security, digital media and internet exchanges and benefit from high-speed, low-latency connectivity while retaining access to their own infrastructure.

This approach has a number of benefits, including:

 

Reliability

A far more stable connection and vast reduction in packet loss in comparison to internet connectivity.

Performance

Significantly improved latency compared to internet connections, routinely putting organisations within 100ms of key services.

Security

Traffic never has to leave the data centre or expose itself to the internet, thus alleviating the vast majority of security issues.

Agility

Connectivity relationships between cloud providers and services can be set up rapidly.

Flexibility

Mission-critical workloads can be migrated from legacy architecture into the collocated edge to shift spending toward OpEx before having to finalise a decision.

A New Chapter of Networking

While once upon a time, internet connectivity was renowned as the best networking option available, today, the standard has been set far higher. Intra-data centre networking – made possible by colocation experts such as Interxion – is an approach that can mitigate the pain points of internet connectivity and deliver near instant access to a connected community of partners, suppliers and customers who all benefit from best-in-class reliability as a result.

While any business can benefit from the improved security, performance, and flexibility a connected community can deliver, for those organisations who depend on delivering real-time systems, business critical applications, consumer-facing applications, IoT or AI solutions or centralised analytics in a distributed infrastructure – access to reliable, low latency connectivity can be the difference between market-leader and market-lingerer.

Explore new IT trends with Interxion 

If you’d like to learn more about the value of intra-datacentre networking and why connectivity has topped the polls for what businesses would look for in a cloud-enablement provider, read our latest insights report from 451 Research.