Multi-cloud transit enhances app experience but brings complexity and security challenges

Sapio Research conducted a survey of more than 400 IT leaders at U.S.-based organizations with more than 1000 employees which offers a picture for enterprises transitioning to the cloud and multi-cloud so that they understand the challenges and are empowered to make informed decisions about cloud networking and security. The results show that while multi-cloud transit can dramatically improve network latency, the move to multi-cloud also introduces significant complexity and security challenges.

multi-cloud transit

The report looks at single cloud performance, multi-cloud and direct Internet connectivity. Multi-cloud is the clear performance winner: for user-to-app connectivity, multi-cloud was shown to reduce network latency across 45% more paths than single cloud alone, while improving performance by up to 55% per path, compared to network-centric connectivity like VPN and SD-WAN.

Enterprises agree that outstanding app experience is key for business success

While 93% of organizations agree that application experience is important for the overall success of the business, 64% find they are unable to offer the same level of experience to everyone, while 47% report it is impossible to keep up with the diversity of the application and user landscape.

The growing diversity of applications adds complexity

Different types of applications experience significant variations in performance, even when connecting over the same routes, within the same CSP. Our report found that the variance can be 15-80% across applications.

Furthermore, modern applications have vastly different architecture and security requirements that impact performance, making it difficult for enterprises to monitor.

Security and complexity remain critical challenges for multi-cloud transit

Enterprises are more concerned than ever about the growing threat surface caused by multi-cloud transit and the decentralization of users, applications and data across the globe. To address this problem, many enterprise security teams have turned to VPNs or inserting security vendor SaaS services to enforce user and application security policies.

However, inserting mid-mile SaaS infrastructure can significantly slow performance — adding 28x the latency, compared to a solution that eliminates mid-mile SaaS infrastructure and brings security closer to end users.

Variance among routes and CSP make it difficult to select optimal transit route

The variance across key routes between CSPs can vary greatly, adding additional complexity. For example, the report finds that the latency from Singapore to the U.K. had a variance of 50MS+ between the three CSP; and latency from Hong Kong to Australia had a variance of 20MS.

Moreover, this underscores the dynamic nature of cloud networks; the number of users, data volumes, connectivity options, routes and other factors can impact overall performance at any given time.

To realize the promise of multi-cloud transit, orgs need to simplify their infrastructure

While 94% of organizations are currently using tools to measure application experience, the report finds that enterprises lack comprehensive tools that allow them to measure user-to-app and app-to-app performance, across key routes, cloud providers and application types.

“Despite key challenges, multi-cloud remains a highly attractive strategy to enterprises who must deliver fast, secure and consistent application experiences across the globe,” said Prosimo CEO Ramesh Prabagaran.

“Given the complexities involved, the organizations that succeed will develop a balanced approach — one that manages cost, security and performance. As a result, multi-cloud networking alone will not be enough; enterprises will require a strategy that combines multi-cloud networking, security, application performance and observability in one integrated stack.”

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