It seems almost silly to suggest that the public cloud must be multicloud-ready. But this statement introduces that there is still a distinction between cloud and multicloud requirements. As companies prepare their migration to cloud, they will need to simultaneously understand how their cloud architectures must explicitly consider a multicloud future.
But is there really a difference between cloud and multicloud?
Cloud vs. Multicloud
Cloud has been defined and redefined for years. In short, think of cloud as a set of fungible resources on top of which workloads can be managed. Most cloud strategies involve elements of dynamism, to improve efficiency or reduce costs or take advantage of proximity-based properties that might be important to users, applications or the data that serves them.
Multicloud is additive. It builds on cloud but adds the notion that most enterprises will not feature a single cloud, but rather multiple clouds. Minimally, this is because there will be periods, especially during early cloud adoption, where both private and public cloud infrastructure must exist side by side. More likely, enterprises will find that there are several reasons that will necessitate a multicloud approach:
Economics—Cloud providers will ultimately be treated like other suppliers. Having multiple providers creates leverage in procurement to help keep costs in check.
Application and feature disparity — Not all clouds will support or perform the same applications and features. It seems likely that efforts to differentiate individual cloud offerings will lead to some clouds being more suitable to certain types of workloads. Enterprises with diverse requirements will almost certainly leverage multiple providers to take advantage.
Data — Data is the center of the current IT universe, and will be for the foreseeable future. For enterprises that want strict control over their data, they will choose clouds (either private or based in specific locations) that satisfy corporate and compliance requirements.
Proximity — Workloads that are at all latency-sensitive will need to be placed near either the users or the data. For companies with a multinational or global presence, this will likely mean the adoption of local cloud providers, especially outside of the US.
From a networking perspective, the requirements for cloud are primarily focused on connectivity, accounting for the dynamic placement of workloads within a cloud environment. These requirements drive the need for secure transport between users and workloads, which leads to encrypted connectivity solutions, typically in the form of some virtual private cloud (VPC) functionality.
Of course, if the future is multicloud, it means that security needs to reside in every cloud instance. Additionally, the policies that drive VPC security will need to be uniformly managed regardless of which cloud is hosting a particular workload. And assuming that the visibility and management of connectivity is not delegated to cloud-instance-specific teams, the operations that monitor, provision and remediate cloud networking will need to be portable across clouds of all types.
Moreover, while companies tend to think about security and policy in the cloud, the connections between users and workloads are bidirectional. That is to say that the same policies and operational considerations cannot only exist in the cloud. They have companion insertion and enforcement points in the devices that provide the on-ramp to the cloud—the campus, branch and data center connectivity solutions.
The key to making multicloud operationally viable is leveraging common platforms across all of these components in a way that allows for a seamless end-to-end networking experience leveraging common best practices and standard security profiles.
Delivering a multicloud-ready public cloud
Juniper Networks has long supported the virtual devices necessary to provide endpoints in the various public clouds. Juniper’s vSRX Virtual Firewall provides a secure gateway for traffic entering and exiting the cloud, terminating encrypted transport on both Juniper and non-Juniper devices in the campus, branch and data centers. It also enables workload protection across the multicloud using l4-l7 security features like IPS, application security and UTM (AV & web filtering). For more service-rich requirements, Juniper also supports a virtual version of its flagship MX platform—the vMX.
But beyond providing secure connectivity to the public cloud from on-premises locations, Juniper is delivering an automated way of applying security and application policy in the public cloud.
Secure cloud connectivity - this combination vSRX as a secure connectivity to public clouds with Juniper jumpstart services allows enterprises to deploy vSRX in public clouds, like AWS and Azure. The solution automates VPC setup using multiple methods, allowing customers to choose between TerraForm, CloudFormation and Ansible. The objective is to provide an operationally-diverse set of tools to speed the implementation of public cloud instances for DevOps, helping enterprises connect seamlessly across on-premises and public cloud.
The cloud endpoints for vSRX are built using the same flagship network operating system that drives the rest of Juniper’s portfolio. By featuring Junos software at these endpoints, enterprises can leverage streaming telemetry, programmatic interfaces and integrations with common tools, which allows for the simple extension of security and operational practices across all the places-in-network required to support a truly multicloud architecture.
Migrating to multicloud
For most enterprises, the path to multicloud begins with the migration of key applications to the public cloud. By offering a secure and automated means of establishing cloud connectivity, Juniper is jumpstarting enterprise cloud—and eventually multicloud—adoption.
The key in successfully navigating major transitions like cloud and multicloud is making sure that every decision moves the enterprise closer to its eventual destination. As enterprises evaluate and ultimately deploy new solutions and platforms, they should be certain to consider one key criterion: does this deployment make multicloud easier?
Juniper is helping this journey by delivering public cloud solutions that make enterprises multicloud-ready.
You can start experiencing the cost savings and business agility of a secure, automated multicloud today. Get started here.