The cloud may not be the Internet

In our last newsletter we distinguished between public and private cloud computing and discussed some of the challenges associated with supporting both forms of cloud computing over a WAN. In this newsletter we will continue that discussion and will also discuss how IT organizations intend to respond to those challenges.

The case for virtualized WAN optimization controllers

As noted in the last newsletter, the increased use of both private and public cloud computing drives an increased reliance on the WAN. In the case of private cloud computing, this increased use of the WAN to access IT resources results in the need for IT organizations to implement WAN optimization controllers (WOC) functionality in their data centers and their remote offices. In the case of public cloud computing, this will drive the need for both the IT organization and the public cloud providers to implement WOC functionality. However, since WOCs are proprietary, both the IT organization and the public cloud provider must implement WOCs from the same vendor. 

The need to have the WOC in the enterprise be the same as the WOC provided by the service provider is just one factor driving the trend to have service providers, both traditional network service providers and cloud computing service providers, provide WOC functionality as part of the overall service that is being delivered to the customer. Whether provided as part of a private or a public cloud computing solution, Application Delivery 2.0 WOCs will need to scale to support significantly more throughput and more sessions than do Application Delivery 1.0 WOCs.

Due to a variety of well-known issues (for example, packet loss at peering points, BGP's inability to choose the path with the lowest delay, the TCP slow start algorithm) the Internet often exhibits performance problems. As such, the Internet is not always the most appropriate WAN service to use to access cloud computing solutions. Our research indicates that when accessing public cloud services, IT organizations are only somewhat more likely to use the Internet than they are to use other WAN services. That research also indicates that when accessing private cloud services, IT organizations are notably more likely to use a WAN service other than the Internet than they are to use the Internet.

More insight into the changes we expect to see in 2010 can be found in Jim's recent report on cloud computing.

Learn more about this topic

The other side of desktop virtualization

Bringing virtualization to the branch office

The fractal data center

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Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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