What is Cloud Networking

Cloud Networking provides connectivity between your workloads/instances for applications, storage, databases and more regardless of the location.  Public, Private Cloud and on-premises data centers all connect with cloud networking in the ecosystem to facilitate data transfer.  As edge networks rise in prominence, so does Cloud Networking’s ability to support services with any design footprint.

Choosing the right network cloud design is where many users can become lost as IaaS, PaaS and SaaS environments all have implications if the architecture is poor.


Why is Cloud Networking important?

Since 2020 as organizations moved out of the office and into a distributed workforce, many pulled out their corporate WAN.  Instead, they moved their network to cloud and began taking this approach across a variety of IT operations.  UCaaS, Security, CRM and SaaS based apps required tight cloud networking options to deliver similar WAN experiences.  Remote users required a Zero Trust/SASE option to connect this new corporate WAN, however they could use any internet connection to do so, even quarantining in a faraway location.

What is the difference between network and cloud networking?

Traditional network services are sourced and delivered by telecommunications carriers around the world.  They provide organizations a variety of options to support private or public networks for corporate WANs to edge routing for applications.  Cloud Networking has opened the field of providers who built new cloud networks to support the customer edge.  For example, with cheaper compute instances, companies can build and launch seamless edge devices to connect public cloud to 3rd party datacenters within minutes.  These are areas never achievable several years ago due to the linear approach of physical connectivity.


How does cloud networking work?

Cloud networking affords organizations the option to build networks using cloud-based environments virtually. This offers a reliable option compared to a traditional MPLS, SDWAN or even Private Line which are more static.  Having this ultra-reliable cloud network serves many purposes and uses case from traffic separation, disaster recovery to improve your RTO/RPO objectives or simply moving large volumes of data between cloud zones.  Designing redundancy and even building your own SLA performance metric at the corporate level is now achievable.

Deploying global connections from one continent to another is easily achieved in minutes compared to the prior methods of waiting weeks or months for a dedicated carrier service.  Cloud Networking revolutionizes worldwide connectivity similar to launching new cloud applications in other regions.

Cloud Networking can provide virtual routing and web application firewall (WAF) services without the need to deploy hardware, patch of consider

What Cloud Networking Options Exists?

Cloud Networking is available to anyone across a few different options.  Each with some advantages however you must evaluate your uses case to determine which is right for your environment


  • Carrier/Telecom Connectivity:This connection option exists from the traditional telecommunications carriers globally.  Flavors include:
    1. DWDM/Wavelength:Often carriers provide a layer 1-2 connection, private direct into a cloud service provider.  These circuits consist usually of a wavelength from one cloud to another at 100G to provide smaller speeds to customers.  This is a great option to avoid congested Internet connections but are static and come with longer term commercial commitments.
    2. MPLS:Some carriers still offer a MPLS private VRF available into a cloud service provider.  This is a great option if you have a MPLS network today and can simply add another node to the closed user group.  The downfall is these connections are more expensive, however the positive is they are private similar to a wavelength.  MPLS does not route over the public internet and serves excellent uptime SLAs.
    3. SDWAN:Software Defined networking has expanded in just the last 24 months to accommodate cloud connectivity in a very robust option.  Organizations who ditched MPLS for SDWAN can leverage their technology to route into cloud service providers rather natively.  Utilize their company internet and SDWAN service, configuration into a cloud network is easy.  The upside is setup should be completed within a day and the downfall is navigating the world of cross-connects or api configurations.
  • Cloud Networking Companies:Due to the expansion of cloud, a steady stream of providers has emerged to deliver fast, reliable software defined virtual connections.  The business case made sense as unlike a tradition carrier, organizations simply had to route between clouds, reducing their capital and Opex investments to deliver world-class service.  The cloud connection providers afford organizations generally 2-3 cool options to connect.  They can spin up cloud to cloud connections in minutes using a GUI, API and Terraform, Ansible etc.  Understanding BGP and Static routing are the core requirements as the rest has been taken care of by the providers.  These connections are private and do offer virtual routing and access to firewalling services with 3rd


Who are the Cloud Networking caretakers?

If your organization separates network and cloud teams then the obvious networking stewards is obvious.  As more organizations scale, collaborating between Dev, IT & Security teams are paramount.

  • Network/Telecom Data Center Teams:They have spent their career in WAN and now moving to cloud networking.  They have the historical understanding of the corporate WAN and will be a valuable partner with Cloud teams.
  • DevOps and application teams: Leveraging networking architectures and resources to deploy applications and ensure performance
  • SecOps: Cloud Networking Security is vulnerable if you believe a simple VPN can support IaaS/PaaS/SaaS  Zero Trust or private cloud networking connectivity is important because most likely your end-topology will be hybrid.  Meaning it will not be a traditional carrier, SDWAN provider or old faithful IPSEC tunnels.
  • Cloud Architects: This teams understands how to scale, build, and run fast.  Supporting their low latency needs should not come at a cost of legacy WANs and outdated Security policies.


Cloud networking Advantages

Spinning up a virtual instance was so impactful when these capabilities became mainstream.  Now, quickly turning up cloud networking workloads focused on traditional Layer 1, Layer2 and Layer 3 characteristics is available.  Some clear advantages of Cloud Networking where applicable include but not limited to:

  • Connect Multiple Cloud Vendors virtually without long lead times.  Cloud Networking infrastructure is available with the swipe of card in many instances.  You can use a virtual cloud router to build private circuits between AWS and Oracle for example without the need of waiting weeks.
  • Cost and PayGo options which are great to test virtual circuits between your primary cloud to another IaaS/PaaS/SaaS vendor.  This means you pay for your traffic consumption like your compute instance usage.  Less traffic during off-peak times means you can scale your network needs down.  You can’t do this with a traditional wide area network.
  • Extension of on-premises networks.  If you have a datacenter either a public or private location, there are options outside of a traditional VPN IPSEC tunnel to connect with.  Zero Trust options exist leveraging existing transit or in some case similar to cloud, virtual infrastructure exists to connect data centers.  Cloud Networking simply view the datacenter as it does public cloud, just another location to form a connection.
  • Data Replication.  How many organizations at some point need to move data from one location to another?  Using Cloud Networking a company can perform a one-time data move or ongoing transfers using segmented virtual circuits.
  • Flexibility – generally there isn’t long-term contracts which helps especially if you are uncertain what your cloud architecture will look like in 12 months.


How to install Cloud Networking?

Installing Cloud Networking to support your business does require some industry, tech, and commercial knowledge.  Most organizations do not build and launch If you are new to Cloud Networking in 2021, we suggest taking a multi-step approach we use with our clients.  Or we can simply build this topology for you, walk you through the pricing options and commercial terms so you can matrix out providers.  You need to understand the latency, packet size and geo options with your WAN to the Cloud Networking service providers.  Yes, we stated service providers because often you will need multiple providers in-line to support your end-to-end connectivity requirements.  This does not mean it will be cost prohibitive, it is just another consideration you must evaluate.


Contact Macronet Services for an independent free 2-hour design & price evaluation of cloud networking options.  We can show you prior topology use cases with our customers and train you on subtle nuances in the industry.


Cloud Networking in 2021 & what you need to know