Private Connections to the Cloud

Recently, Google launched Google Cloud Interconnect, a service that allows enterprises to create secure private connections to its cloud services.  In doing this, they’re playing catchup with AWS, which already has a Direct Connect service, and Microsoft, which offers Azure Express Route.  All of these provide direct network links between private networks and cloud facilities, resulting in improved security, higher availability, and lower latency than connecting over the Internet.  The distinctions between these services are as follows:

  • Google offers three types of interconnection: carrier interconnect, secure VPN over the public Internet, and direct peering at 70+ locations in 33 countries.

  • AWS Direct Connect offers connections at Layer 2, based on 802.1q VLANs.  These can be partitioned into multiple virtual interfaces, so as to share a single connection between a number of public and private cloud resources.

  • Microsoft Azure Express Route offers a range of connections at the IP layer using public and private peering based on border gateway protocol (BGP).

The cloud providers bill for these services based on the volume of data on egress from their network, but the cost of the telco connection is additional.

The connections are available through a range of network providers including Equinix, Level 3 and Verizon, which are also developing their own products in this space.  Equinix launched its Cloud Exchange earlier this year with over 50 cloud partners, and Verizon launched Secure Cloud Interconnect at about the same time.  Level 3 has been offering its Cloud Connect service for over a year, which includes IP, MPLS, Ethernet and optical options.

These services are particularly useful for organizations that use hybrid cloud architectures with multiple cloud providers.  They allow businesses to connect directly to cloud resources, bypassing the Internet while separating the network connections to public-facing web servers from backend systems, such as databases or application servers.  If you think direct cloud connections would benefit your organization, Scisbo can help you find the right service.