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With all of the activity around compute and storage in cloud it might be easy to take for granted the interconnection needs of all that capacity.  The network just runs, right?  The reality is that interconnection capabilities determine application architectures, performance, and resiliency.  At this year’s Cloud Connect, we’ll be looking at current choices and future options for managing information flow and networking services. Networking’s automation challenges have caused many providers to make compromises to achieve scale.  Those automation barriers are starting to fall and better interconnect options are coming on line that will impact how cloud networking gets done.

The track includes a set of sessions that will inform and expand your understanding of interconnections to and through cloud deployments.  We start off with a leading edge view of the challenges of deploying network services in the cloud.  Historically, implementers have had to rely on physical instantiations to handle load management and network security at cloud scale.  This can present challenges in integrating with orchestration systems and serious inefficiencies in deploying capacity. The session will look at ways to address needed services with traditional gear and also dig into a service virtualization approach that could have some big benefits in flexibility.

We continue with an automation focus and do a deep technical dive into internal cloud network architectures in the second session.  Many implementers have gotten stuck on an expectation of needing large, flat networks to build applications.  While they may not need much thought to build, they can be hard to operate and can create barriers to scale.  Building a network architecture that can grow, as well as integrate with virtualized compute and storage takes some thought.  This session will also have a case study of a provider that’s been through the battle of making it all work, giving us some real world perspective on what’s required and hopefully saving others some scrapes and scars. 

Bringing together divergent views on any topic any topic generates discussion and the third session is a panel that does just that. Startups and established players in network optimization will wrestle with different ways the network can improve application performance for end users and build architectures that perform at scale. The audience will drive the topics we discuss and the problems we try to solve.

As cloud service capabilities have grown, so have the options for application architectures and delivery mechanisms.  Hybrid architectures can offer an effective transition path for moving applications to the cloud where data sources need to stay protected, but application front ends can leverage cloud scale and cost advantages.  The trick in making this work, of course, is getting the interconnection right. We dig in to the options and practical techniques in the final session.

Whether you’re building new applications or grappling with moving existing applications to a cloudy home, network functionality will play a large part in your success.  Getting informed will improve your odds.

To attend Cloud Connect Santa Clara 2012 and to further deepen your WAN knowledge, simply visit the Cloud Connect registration page.

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