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A multi-cloud mission: unlocking the benefits through software defined networking

Business and Enterprise

Posted on November 16, 2018

4 min read

At Telstra Vantage we announced a new partnership between the Telstra Programmable Network and Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™) which has unlocked access to more than 60 clouds in eight markets for our customers.

More and more computing workloads are being pulled into the cloud. Once being in the cloud was simply about flexibility and lower costs – now it is about finding the right cloud, for the right workload, at the right time, with the right security. It’s a mission for multi-cloud.

IDC’s IDCFutureScape Worldwide Cloud 2017 predicted that more than 85 per cent of enterprise IT organisations will have rolled out a multi-cloud strategy by 2018 in the hope of optimising the potential of each cloud type.

Some of the advantages of going multi-cloud include:

  • Avoiding vendor lock in – No one wants to be at the mercy of a single provider.
  • Reduced cost – When you have more options, there’s greater potential to negotiate better deals.
  • Improved performance – A cloud located near where your users are reduces latency issues and makes it easier to comply with local laws and regulations around data sovereignty.
  • Having a back-up plan – Another major advantage of multi-cloud is that more than one cloud provides great insurance and protects your business.

Cloud management

Embarking on a multi-cloud mission, however, is not without its challenges. For instance, it’s important to be able to access and make the most of multi-cloud in a way that does not complicate your workflow. Those looking to gain the convenience and benefits of cloud often experience the hassle of negotiating connections directly with individual cloud partners. This is where cloud management tools have emerged as key to enabling multi-cloud environments, mitigating the risk of straining resources, cost creep or compliance issues.

Leapfrogging bottlenecks and the other shortcomings of traditional networks is likewise crucial to the success of any multi-cloud strategy. This is where Software Defined Networks (SDN) has come into play, enabling networks to move beyond being a ‘black box’ to offering flexibility and transparency that can be switched on via APIs. For this reason, the global SDN market is expected to grow from $5 billion AUD this year to $77 billion by 2022.

Our Telstra Programmable Network and Equinix partnership

We have addressed both these challenges – cloud management and network optimisation – by forming a new partnership which combines the benefits of our Telstra Programmable Network (TPN) with data centre specialists Equinix.

The partnership, announced at Telstra Vantage, will see Equinix’s global ecosystem of cloud providers exposed to business users for the first time via the TPN global exchange. This makes us the only telco to date to interconnect its software-defined platform to the ECX Fabric.

Rather than negotiating access with individual cloud providers, a few clicks will give users the ability to connect to global leading clouds AWS, Azure, Google, Oracle. This is all accessible within a few minutes via a simple, automated user interface. Users will also be able to access sixty eight clouds in eight markets in the same interface.

How this partnership is helping our customers

Take carsales – Australia’s largest online automotive classifieds business that helps customers buy, sell and find the parts they need to maintain their cars. Its overall value proposition is providing a seamless digital user experience. After years of growing locally, carsales decided to expand its business internationally.

To make sure the delivery of services to customers was consistent across multiple markets, carsales needed each of their international hubs to be able to tap into the same global IT platform. To do this they put their core applications in Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centre in Melbourne and leveraged a hybrid cloud strategy enabled by ECX Fabric and the Telstra Programmable Network to effectively create repeatable instances of their technology platform worldwide.

With on-demand scalability, a pay-as-you-go model and the backing of a flexible network, we and Equinix were able to maximise carsales’ existing IT strategy, meaning there would be no need to maintain multiple network versions moving forward.

It’s with this simplified access to a multi-cloud environment via a single data centre provider and just one network that has enabled carsales to scale up their infrastructure capacity as their international business grows. With a software-defined edge, the Equinix and Telstra partnership provides the flexibility and cost efficiency to ensure customer business priorities dictate their IT provisioning. Now that’s how a multi-cloud mission is accomplished.