In an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) scenario, the cloud-based service being provided will include virtual server space, network connections, bandwidth, IP addresses and load balancers. Physically the pool of hardware resource is pulled from a multitude of servers and networks usually distributed across numerous data centres, all of which the cloud provider is responsible for maintaining. The enterprise customer, on the other hand, is given access to the virtualised components to build their own IT platforms.
Using a scalable, fully automated, enterprise-ready infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solution, organisations can look to establish a ‘Virtual Data Centre’ (VDC) – an optimally distributed IT infrastructure based in the cloud, which is highly cost-effective to run, and offers maximum flexibility.
A VDC provides on-demand computing, storage and applications - integrated into the heart of a company’s IT infrastructure, but delivered via an external network. It replaces the need to buy, manage and maintain physical IT infrastructure, tapping into the managed service provider’s physical data centres nationally and internationally (and the best ones have strict controls over where data can and can’t go, where this is an issue for companies). To ensure enterprise-class performance and consistent service levels, the diverse data centres need to be inter-connected by high-speed fibre links, ensuring access speeds.
When identifying a service provider there are a number of key criteria to look out for
to ensure an enterprise-class experience that delivers all of the benefits of a virtualised, cloud-based infrastructure with minimal risk. These include:
•Security. This should be built into the fabric of the MPLS network. Ownership. Look for a provider that owns and manages its own facilities in all of the locations you require, so you can be sure you are working directly with the underlying infrastructure provider. You don’t want to have a situation where your provider’s provider is the cause of your service issues.
•Transparency and compliance. Make sure your provider is industry- certified and clearly communicates where your data will be hosted - down to the specific data centre. This will give you complete confidence that data remains within the designated country, with complete visibility and access control.
•Integration options. Look for use of trusted, advanced networking technologies so that there are no limitations to additional expansion of your corporate IT infrastructure.
•An open architecture. Check that the underlying architecture that enables the VDC is based on open standards to ensure a continuous ‘best in class’ service well into the future.