Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Ed Featherston, Dalibor Siroky, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Xenia von Wedel

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Key Considerations for Cloud Networking

This post is part of a series examining the issues involved when moving applications between internal data centers and clouds

Every enterprise has a unique network infrastructure for accessing servers and allowing applications to communicate between components.  Various layers support the management of network addressing, deliver critical services, and ensure security.  The infrastructure includes specific addressing (sub-nets), address services like DHCP/DNS, identity and directory services like LDAP, and firewalls and routing rules – all reflecting the specific requirements and evolution of the given enterprise.

Clouds are not different from the enterprise in this respect; they have unique networking infrastructures that support complex and flexible multi-tenant environments.  Remember that the cloud providers have to control their networking so that they can route traffic within their infrastructure.  More important, their design is completely different from your enterprise networking architecture, design, and addressing.  This is not a problem if you’re doing something stand-alone in the cloud because you don’t care what the network structure is as long as you can access it over the internet.  However, if you want to extend your existing networks and use your existing applications, there are serious discontinuities that have to be addressed.

First, you have to deal with addressing.  The typical cloud provider will assign you a block of addresses as part of your cloud account.  For example, Flexiscale and GoGrid essentially give you get a block of assigned addresses that you can attach to the servers you create.  In some cases these are external addresses (meaning that they are public addresses that can be accessed from the internet), while in others, they are internal.   In either case, they are not assigned as part of your addressing.  This means that even if you manage to connect these resources to your data center, you need to build new routes and alter your services to allow these “foreign” addresses into your system. Amazon originally took a different approach by providing a dynamic system where an address is assigned every time a server is started.  This made it hard to build multi-tier applications, requiring developers to design systems able to pass changing address information between application components.  The new VPC offering partially solves this problem for connecting to the Amazon cloud, although some key challenges remain.  Other cloud providers are investigating similar networking capabilities.

The next major issue with networking in the cloud is data protection.  In your data center, there is a secure perimeter defined and developed by your IT organization that is comprised of firewalls, rules, and systems to create a protected environment for your internal applications.  This is important because most applications need to communicate over ports and services that are not well protected and certainly not safe for general internet access.  Since applications are developed for the protected environment of the data center, it can be dangerous to move them unmodified into the cloud.  Under normal circumstances, the application owner or developer has to build protection on a per-server basis and enact corporate protection policies.

The loss of control of the infrastructure mentioned earlier has additional implications – in most clouds you can’t control the physical interface level.  That is, in addition to assigned IP addresses, you get MAC addresses assigned to you as well.  These addresses can change every time a server is started which means that the identity of the server (and associated IP addresses) cannot be based on this familiar attribute.

All of these networking issues are at play whenever enterprise applications require the support of your data center infrastructure – things like identity services, naming services, and access to internal databases and other resources.  Because of this, your cloud resources need a way to connect to your data center, of which the easiest approach is a VPN.  In building this solution, you need to design for routing to the cloud and provide a method for cloud applications to “reach back” to the applications and services running in your data center. Ideally, this connection would allow Layer-2 connectivity because a number of services require this level to function properly.

To wrap up this segment, networking, like storage, is a very important part of your IT infrastructure, and the cloud adds a number of interesting new variables to the design and operation of your data center environment.  What’s needed is a well-constructed architecture and a good understanding of the limitations imposed by the cloud if you want to integrate successfully with the public clouds.  Today, this can be a major barrier to cloud adoption since enterprises are understandably reluctant to re-architect their network environments or become knowledgeable about the complexities of each cloud provider’s underlying infrastructure.  When designing your cloud strategy, make sure to select a migration path that addresses these issues and protects you from costly engineering projects and cloud risks.

Next: Key Considerations for Cloud Management

More Stories By Ellen Rubin

Ellen Rubin is the CEO and co-founder of ClearSky Data, an enterprise storage company that recently raised $27 million in a Series B investment round. She is an experienced entrepreneur with a record in leading strategy, market positioning and go-to- market efforts for fast-growing companies. Most recently, she was co-founder of CloudSwitch, a cloud enablement software company, acquired by Verizon in 2011. Prior to founding CloudSwitch, Ellen was the vice president of marketing at Netezza, where as a member of the early management team, she helped grow the company to more than $130 million in revenues and a successful IPO in 2007. Ellen holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Harvard University.

@CloudExpo Stories
Blockchain. A day doesn’t seem to go by without seeing articles and discussions about the technology. According to PwC executive Seamus Cushley, approximately $1.4B has been invested in blockchain just last year. In Gartner’s recent hype cycle for emerging technologies, blockchain is approaching the peak. It is considered by Gartner as one of the ‘Key platform-enabling technologies to track.’ While there is a lot of ‘hype vs reality’ discussions going on, there is no arguing that blockchain is b...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, discussed the b...
"Storpool does only block-level storage so we do one thing extremely well. The growth in data is what drives the move to software-defined technologies in general and software-defined storage," explained Boyan Ivanov, CEO and co-founder at StorPool, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable?Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, answered these questions and demonstrated techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances and co...
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, provided some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacent...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
The cloud era has reached the stage where it is no longer a question of whether a company should migrate, but when. Enterprises have embraced the outsourcing of where their various applications are stored and who manages them, saving significant investment along the way. Plus, the cloud has become a defining competitive edge. Companies that fail to successfully adapt risk failure. The media, of course, continues to extol the virtues of the cloud, including how easy it is to get there. Migrating...
The use of containers by developers -- and now increasingly IT operators -- has grown from infatuation to deep and abiding love. But as with any long-term affair, the honeymoon soon leads to needing to live well together ... and maybe even getting some relationship help along the way. And so it goes with container orchestration and automation solutions, which are rapidly emerging as the means to maintain the bliss between rapid container adoption and broad container use among multiple cloud host...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
The need for greater agility and scalability necessitated the digital transformation in the form of following equation: monolithic to microservices to serverless architecture (FaaS). To keep up with the cut-throat competition, the organisations need to update their technology stack to make software development their differentiating factor. Thus microservices architecture emerged as a potential method to provide development teams with greater flexibility and other advantages, such as the abili...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was jo...
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...