Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How to tackle “Network” related challenges in a Cloud – Part 1


So, we all know Cloud is the new buzz word in the IT industry and most of the companies are looking at using the Cloud in some form or the other. This has led the CIO’s to ask one question

“What issues do we foresee in moving to the Cloud?”

Even before we hear this question come out, we have a slew of topics that are presented on the same topic. This includes, Cloud Security, Cloud Integration, Cloud Management, so on and so forth.

Once issue that often gets missed, or given low priority is “Networks”, which are the basic life line of any Organization. Since network is so transparent that people talking about compute environments tend to overlook it.

If you are reading this, and going how is network impacted. Is it always impacted? In order to be able to answer these questions, we need to consider the following

· What is my current model

· What part of my Infrastructure will be cloud enabled?

· What Cloud model am I considering?

Depending on these questions, we may have to assess how much or little will the network component get impacted.

Now, for an example, let’s consider an Enterprise with local access moving into a Public Cloud. The current data flow of this organization will look something like this


The LAN infra connecting to the On Premise resource will typically be 1Gbps / 10 Gbps access speed, whereas the Internet connection is a slower link in comparison. The backplane and congestion component of the LAN is much lesser than the WAN.

Now, please consider that you have moved all your resources to the cloud. Can you imagine what the case will be ?


All the traffic that we used to take for granted, flowing through the datacenter LAN at high speed, now has to traverse across the internet. Obviously we will have more requirements for bandwidth. But remember bandwidth is just one part of the story, we also have to consider the delay, the Jitter and the Quality of service on that link, because, we can’t go back to the users and say, Hey, I have made so much changes, so your experience is going to worsen a little, the users are not going to buy it.

So, I think we all see a problem here. But remember this was a drastic example, not many companies out there are going to be doing this, but the worst case example was taken to show that we need to think about the network component.

Remember that even as we go to, say a “Hosted Private Cloud”, or even centralizing the operations in a company to go for a Private cloud in the HQ, we do need to deal with the network requirements of the remote offices.

All said and done, how do we tackle it? After all this blog is all about the solution … We will be looking at a couple of solutions and you can remember that these solutions can be mixed and matched depending upon the requirement.

You will be surprised to know that one the solution for this problem created by the Cloud, has its solution in the Cloud as well … J … Yes you heard right …

Solution A:

Use VDI or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. Now, we all know that it is Desktop Virtualization and is a form of cloud adaptation.

If you put your User’s desktop in the same cloud as where you are putting your servers, then effectively, the access becomes local access and is much faster. The bandwidth requirement will be the bandwidth consumed by the thin client of the access workstation. The thin clients have a predictable and low bandwidth when compared to the individual applications on the internet.

Even if you are afraid of putting all your eggs in the same basket, you can still go for VDI with another cloud provider, and if you plan it right your access rates will be fast, as you will have more on demand bandwidth on the Cloud than you will typically purchase for a site.

Solution B:

The solution B is to put in some Virtual WAN accelerators on your cloud and its pair on the remote site. Configure them properly and then you can reduce the amount of Bandwidth utilization that you will actually push to the internet.

If you want a managed solution, you may go with a provider like Aryaka, who will also give you the MPLS capabilities of QoS. In this solution, we have to carefully customize the access network so the ROI is beneficial

Depending on how much you are moving towards the cloud and what components are being moved, you may want to use Solution A / B or both.


I will detail about it in the next Part