Software Defined Cloud Interconnect becoming essential for private cloud connectivity

By Alex Hawkes|16 April, 2024

For enterprises using both hybrid- and multi-cloud architectures, Software Defined Cloud Interconnects (SDCIs) are increasingly well-recognised as the most advantageous approach to private cloud connectivity.

In fact, by 2027 Gartner® predicts 30% of enterprises will employ SDCI services to connect to public cloud service providers. This is a threefold increase from less than 10% in 2022.

According to Gartner, concurrent with the broader adoption of cloud-based IT for mission-critical workloads are enterprises’ requests for agility, predictability and high performance in their connections to the cloud - features that internet-based interconnects cannot always guarantee.

So, SDCI is fast emerging as the infrastructure glue between public cloud service providers, internet service providers (ISPs), network service providers (NSPs), and on-premise infrastructure assets.

Why is Software Defined Cloud Interconnect becoming essential?

As enterprises add more public cloud providers and more regions or availability zones, even in a mono-cloud environment, the network is becoming more complicated, requiring more accessible private cloud connectivity options for mission-critical applications.

Currently, the public internet is the most popular way for enterprises to connect its end-users to data and applications in the cloud. However, the more enterprises rely on hybrid cloud and multi-cloud approaches for their business requirements, and the more these deployments support business-critical and performance-sensitive applications, the greater the need for dependable cloud connectivity.

Greater requirements for reliable, high-performing and secure connections to the cloud fuel demand for uncontended, high-speed and private options. This is especially true for enterprises with a hybrid compute architecture connecting private data centres via reliable, high-performing, secure connections to IaaS providers.

In its latest research, “Competitive Landscape: Private Cloud Connectivity Services,” Gartner states that as enterprises continue to shift mission-critical workloads to cloud IT, service providers like Console Connect are differentiating their offerings “with a breadth and scope of high-performing secure multi-cloud connections, cloud-like operation and cloud-to-cloud enablement."

Although cloud service providers offer their own private cloud connectivity services as a more agile, flexible and cost efficient way to establish interconnect, Console Connect believes that managing these private connections when multiple connections and multiple cloud providers are in scope becomes a headache. Even more so in the case of hybrid approaches. 

In this regard, SDCIs offer several advantages over other private cloud connectivity options, and are becoming a key part of enterprise cloud connectivity as businesses consume more business-critical cloud applications.

Private cloud connectivity options: Which is best for my business?

In terms of cost-effectiveness mixed with demands for high-performance, flexibility, agility, security and quality of service, enterprises typically select hybrid approaches that combine internet-based and private IP-based cloud connections depending on their specific use case. 

The menu of private connectivity options would probably include:

  • Colocation hubs
  • Carrier-based interconnects
  • SDCls

Cross-connects at colocation hubs

In this approach, direct cross-connects in colocation facilities offer private, one-to-one, high-speed connections to cloud providers. But, enterprises would need to independently source a private WAN connection to the colocation hub, which Console Connect believes adds to the management overheads in hybrid- and multi-cloud environments.

Carrier-Based Interconnects

Carrier-Based Interconnects (CBls) provide dedicated point-to-point connections as well as virtual private connections (VPCs) over shared pre-provisioned links connecting the enterprise network to the cloud service provider’s private cloud port or colocation facilities.

This approach requires the enterprise to establish a private WAN connection from its own edge location to the private cloud interconnection hub.

Software-Defined Cloud Interconnects

The advantage that SDCls offer is better support for multiple-use clouds and multi-cloud applications by interconnecting one CSP's environment with another's, without traversing the internet or employing Border Gateway Protocol (BGP).

SDCIs employ Software-Defined Network (SDN) fabrics to enable virtual connections on-demand from one entry point to the fabric to several cloud services, network and internet service providers.

Some final thoughts from Console Connect

Overall, SDCIs offer a more flexible, efficient, and secure approach to private connectivity than other options, making them an attractive choice for businesses looking to optimise their cloud deployments.

As a leading SDCI provider, Console Connect helps businesses connect privately and on-demand to leading cloud platform providers worldwide, including AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, IBM Cloud and more.

The platform delivers:

  • Instant pricing, provisioning and management for Layer 2 connections to the cloud
  • Businesses only pay for the bandwidth they use
  • Privately connects office locations, data centres and devices to public cloud platforms
  • Can also be integrated via API

Download the Gartner report, “Competitive Landscape: Private Cloud Connectivity Services”

Gartner, Competitive Landscape: Private Cloud Connectivity Services, Gaspar Valdivia, Lisa Pierce, 23 October 2023
GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

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