Level 3 Communications

Paul Savill

Is Your Cloud Connection Mission-Critical Ready?

Cloud computing offers several potential advantages in network cost, efficiency and flexibility. This is driving more and more businesses to move their vital business applications to the cloud. When businesses are ready to migrate applications, arguably the most crucial step in the process is verifying whether or not their network connectivity is “mission-critical” prepared.

If you’re considering moving your most critical workloads into the cloud, be sure that your network service provider offers the tools and solutions to support the way your business handles sensitive data, internal apps and remote workers. If you are uncertain about the reliability of your network connection, asking these five questions can help decide if you need to make a change.

1. Is Your Network Able To Fully Support Your Mission-Critical Apps?

Content management systems, CRM platforms, file sharing programs, retail applications and more – the number of apps in use in the cloud continues to go up. Does your network allow you to scale with this growth?

In a world where download and upload speed is money, the cloud can give you, your end users and your customers much better app performance — but only if you’re working on a reliable network.

Our Take…

In order for your company to truly excel in the cloud, you need to confirm that your network can achieve the following:

  • Guaranteed processing time, so you don’t have to wait hours for files to upload
  • High availability, so you’re not left wondering when you’ll be able to access your apps
  • Reduced latency to keep lag times to a minimum
  • Solid security solutions to ensure your data is kept safe

In other words, don’t sign on the dotted line with a network service provider without thoroughly reviewing all of their Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to see if they can provide the above network capabilities.

2. How Can You Tell If Your Network Connection Is Secure?

Hackers don’t set out to target the cloud; they use the cloud as an access point to attack your business. Having the right policies, encryption and firewalls in place can help safeguard your data over the Internet, but when you’re running mission-critical business apps in the cloud, the stakes are even higher.

So, how do you make sure that your business apps will perform seamlessly in the cloud? More importantly, how can you be confident that those apps will be as secure as they were on your local network?

Our Take…

You can connect more confidently to the cloud when you work with a network provider who offers a variety of secure connectivity options. Look for a service provider who offers private network connections in addition to the public Internet.

3. Does Your Network Service Offer Optimal Efficiency?

When your business is synonymous with your data and applications, having access and control in the cloud is paramount. Additionally, business needs change rapidly, so it’s important to have a network service that scales resources just as fast.

Our Take…

Use a network service provider that offers a scalable bandwidth solution to increase or decrease your network bandwidth automatically without additional resources or downtime. What’s more, some providers, like Level 3, can take that flexibility even one step further and only charge you for what you use, which can result in additional cost savings.

4. Can You Connect Anywhere?

As your business grows and your workforce disperses, your employees may need remote access to applications on their mobile devices. Is your network everywhere your employees are? It should be. When you have the right network in place, you can rest easy knowing that your employees, partners and customers can securely access your apps from anywhere and on any device.

Our Take…

Choose a network service provider who has local-to-global connectivity backed by end-to-end reliability, so your business can grow faster and operate more efficiently as it scales.

5. Are You Working With A Proven Network Service Provider?

The overall performance of your cloud solution depends on your network service provider. When something goes wrong, you want assurance that customer support has the knowledge and ability to help you fix the problem quickly without incurring additional downtime.

Our Take…

When it comes to network service providers, experience is key. You need a provider whose main focus is finding the right solution for you. Look for networking service providers that have a long history of helping businesses like yours.

So, Is Your Connection Mission-Critical Ready or Not?

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into the process of determining when your cloud network connection can be classified as mission-critical ready. What it essentially boils down to is the types of applications you’re running in the cloud and how important they are to the productivity of your people and the success of your business.

Remember that your cloud architecture is only as strong as your network strategy. Asking these questions will help you choose the right network service provider – one who can guarantee reliability, security, flexibility and performance.