Has your organization been making do with a cloud network that’s adequate, but not excellent? Maybe you’re putting up with tedious administration workflows, or your developers get impatient when it takes days to make changes, or your C-suite is asking questions about usage and performance that you have a hard time answering in depth.
If your cloud networking team is still trying to push past adequacy to excellence but doesn’t know how to get there, this checklist is for you.
And if you’re holding back because you think it would be too hard or cost too much, we can set the record straight. The tools and skills required are very accessible. Here’s what your team can do differently to build a cloud network that exceeds expectations for ease, speed, and insight.
1. Plan ahead for multi-cloud
If your enterprise isn’t already operating in multiple clouds, then you’re in the fortunate position of being able to prepare in advance so the transition is quicker, smoother, and better performing. Because multi-cloud is coming, whether you’re prepared or not.
Defining a multi-cloud network architecture even before it’s necessary helps prevent missteps that lead to backtracking or workarounds. You can build in consistency across clouds from the beginning, which paves the way for efficiencies around automation, reporting, and more.
A great way to start with multi-cloud is to learn Terraform and stand up a multi-cloud architecture in a test environment. With a small budget and time investment, you can create a cost-effective sandbox that will help you practice and prepare.
2. Get complete operational visibility and control
It’s hard to optimize what you can’t see or change. Full visibility across your network gives you access to powerful information, not just about the network itself but about the business as a whole—where things are growing and where you’ll need to scale.
Individual cloud providers have basic dashboards and native tools, but since they’re not designed with multi-cloud in mind, they’ll never be as useful as a purpose-built cloud networking platform. You want to be equipped with both raw data and visual data so you can demonstrate how well the network is running.
Visibility also allows you to be more proactive and gain the trust of leaders and users. Instead of scrambling to respond when someone outside of IT flags a network problem, you’ll see the issue first and report that you’re already working on it. And the business can be more agile, keeping pace with expansion and growth.
3. Don’t compromise on performance or security
The basic VPN capabilities from your cloud provider will give you adequate security and performance. The native constructs for internet ingress and egress get the job done, although they result in a complex configuration, and you lose context on the origin of the traffic.
But there’s no reason to settle when advanced solutions are available. High-performance networking with enterprise security compliance is eminently possible in the cloud, so you don’t have to make trade-offs between protection and productivity.
Centralized policies for internet ingress and egress maintain visibility by using policy-based firewall insertion at a central point. You don’t need to turn on any network address translation to keep everything symmetrical. A cloud networking platform handles all the flows and makes sure that each individual flow goes to and from the same firewall, to prevent flows from breaking. Embedding security in the network avoids the additional latency and bandwidth requirements that result from forcing all traffic through a security device.
Aviatrix has patented encryption technology that uses multiple VPN tunnels aggregated into a single logical connection, which delivers much better performance than the standard VPN from a cloud provider.
4. Anticipate real-world challenges
You may have today’s network figured out, but you also need to look ahead. What will you do six months or two years down the road when something changes that you have no control over? Your team may have decided to stick with one cloud, but your partners, acquisitions, or other business decision makers could force your hand.
For example, when you bring in new customers or new clouds, you may see conflicts caused by IP address overlap.
You could hit networking limitations, which are set differently by each individual cloud provider. Those limits might affect the number of routes you can advertise from your cloud network to your on-prem system, or the number of routes in a VPC routing table.
After an acquisition, you may need to segment a customer off from your production environment because of advanced security requirements.
Aviatrix minimizes the amount of rearchitecting needed in response to these real-world challenges. It’s designed to handle both the organic and inorganic growth that demands a multi-cloud environment.
5. Socialize with management
Support from leadership will help you get the resources you need to build a top-performing cloud network. And a great way to win that support is by telling a compelling story about the value of network improvements that lift you above the clouds.
Start with a demo of your sandbox environment, showing the dynamic topology mapping that’s possible when connecting two clouds together with a cloud network platform like Aviatrix. Provide proof of the potential ROI by sharing the Forrester Total Economic Impact Study, showing how the platform pays for itself twice over three years.
You can also make the case that Aviatrix helps small networking teams do more with their people resources. Instead of having to hire an industry expert for each cloud or do massive upskilling for both Tier 3 architects and Tier 1 support, you abstract away the cloud complexity and keep your team lean and agile.
You can go back to management for regular check-ins once you have deep and rich business information available through the Aviatrix platform. Grab their attention by showing them what happens after they launch a new application or modeling the effects of network performance on important business metrics.
6. Partner with Aviatrix
When you’re aiming for excellence, it helps to collaborate with industry leaders and innovative peers. You won’t find networking experts on the frontline of the cloud provider support desk (or if you do, they’re probably too busy to give you the time you need).
Instead, you’ll want to go where the cloud network experts congregate. The team at Aviatrix has over 1,800 combined years of networking experience, and our entire mission is to architect this future and put enterprise IT back in control.
You can also develop cloud networking expertise yourself, by pursuing training through the Aviatrix Certified Engineer (ACE) program. Spend a few hours or a few days learning from the best so you can level up your architecture.
But you don’t have to do all this alone. The team at Aviatrix is ready to help you flip the switch and discover the impact of multi-cloud infrastructure as code automation.
Come to a build event, check us out in all the cloud marketplaces, organize a team training, or schedule a design session. We have more than 17,000 certified ACE engineers on call.
If your team is eager to embrace cloud excellence and leave average behind, we’re here to help. To learn more, read the ebook, We Need To Talk: Start the Right Cloud Networking Conversation Today.