In the rush toward the cloud, many vendors have left a key enterprise constituent behind: private-IP, MPLS-based networks.
MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) is a widely deployed network connectivity solution that can deliver private IP to enterprises. MPLS offers the promise of better security, quality of service and performance levels over public connectivity options. But how do you get an MPLS-based enterprise network to connect seamlessly to public IP-based cloud infrastructure? That's the challenge that Verizon aims to solve with its Secure Cloud Interconnect technology.
Thierry Sender, director of product development for Verizon, explained to Enterprise Networking Planet that the Verizon Private IP/MPLS network is a high-performance global network that is highly secure and physically separate from the public Internet.
"There are no routing elements shared between the public and the private network," Sender said. "That's really key for the 4,000-plus customers that are on the platform."
With Secure Cloud Interconnect, the public cloud is now accessible from a private IP network.
"This has been a major barrier for enterprises to adopt the public cloud," Sender said. "Enterprises can now access the cloud, and with private IP we've removed the variability in connectivity."
From a cloud services perspective, the Verizon Terremark cloud will be made available to private IP users. Integration with Microsoft Azure is also on the official roadmap. Sender said that Verizon is in negotiations with other cloud service providers to add them onto the platform as well.
In terms of technology, Sender said that the solution leverages Verizon's virtual private cloud technology, which enables Verizon to extend the private IP address space into a cloud provider's public IP space.
"Some of the solutions will required some form of NAT (Network Address Translation) that is done at the edge of the network," Sender said.
The public cloud has been a market phenomenon for several years, which begs the question, Why now? Sender said that it's all about customer demand.
"What we saw last year was a shift with our customers where enterprises reached a point where they had a driver to move to the public environment," Sender said. "There was an inflection point."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist