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What is Cloud Connect?

Do you need the Internet to access the cloud?

Cloud Connect ensures a faster and more reliable connection to cloud resources than to the public Internet since it is based on a dedicated, private connection between an organization's private network and the cloud provider. By not crossing the public Internet, data transmitted over the connection is secure, providing flexibility to store data remotely without compromising network architecture security.

Cloud to on-premises connectivity

A company's on-premises IT infrastructure can be connected to one or more cloud providers (multi-cloud connectivity). Cloud Connect enables organizations to take full advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, such as scalability, cost efficiency and flexibility, while still retaining control over their data and applications.

Multi-cloud connectivity

Multi-cloud connectivity refers is the ability to connect and integrate multiple cloud computing services from different cloud providers into a single, cohesive IT infrastructure. Multi-cloud connectivity can be achieved through various networking technologies and tools, including software-defined networking (SDN), virtual private networks (VPNs), direct cloud connect services and dedicated cloud interconnects. These solutions enable organizations to establish secure, high-performance connections between different cloud environments and on-premises infrastructure, allowing them to distribute workloads, data, and applications across multiple clouds as required.

Cloud connectivity methods

There are several ways organisations can connect to the cloud securely - bypassing the Internet and minimising security threats such as DDoS attacks.

Dedicated connections between an organization’s network and the cloud service provider’s infrastructure are often implemented via layer 1 with optical Wavelengths, layer 2 using Ethernet or higher layer MPLS IP-VPN or SD-WAN solutions to seamlessly integrate with organisation’s existing infrastructure. 

Connectivity is achieved using cloud on-ramps in neutral datacentres where Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) are present. Organisations can connect directly to cloud resources using existing Network Service Provider (NSP) interconnects or by setting up a dedicated port with their chosen CSP. 

Cloud Connect via NSP interconnects

Network Service Providers (NSPs) build direct physical links between their backbone and the Cloud Service Providers’ (CSPs) infrastructure - enabling private, secure connectivity all the way to an organisation’s on-premises infrastructure via an NSP network. Organisations can build private connections to their cloud resources as part of their existing network architecture and via their NSP, using Ethernet at layer 2 or IP-VPN/SD-WAN at layer 3. This approach is ideal for organizations that require a high level of security and reliability for cloud applications and data, combined with cost effective and fast delivery across their existing infrastructure. 

  • Layer 2 Ethernet-based Cloud Connect is ideal for organisations wanting to retain control over the IP layer (i.e., BGP peering) while benefiting from build-in service protection. Ethernet connectivity offers both lower and higher bandwidth options catering for a variety of needs, ranging from sub 1Gbps to 10G over combined NSP/CSP interconnects. This solution supports multi-cloud connectivity - including on-premises to CSP, and on-premises to multiple CSPs options. 
  • Layer 3 IP-VPN/SD-WAN-based Cloud Connect is ideal for organisations who already have an established network architecture from an NSP who manages the IP layer and can extend Virtual Private Network (VPN) connectivity from all remote access sites into the cloud. This approach facilitates multisite connectivity to cloud resources via fully meshed VPN and enables organizations to scale their IT infrastructure quickly and efficiently. 

Cloud Connect via dedicated CSP port

Another alternative organisations can choose is a direct connection to a single Cloud Service Provider via a dedicated CSP port in one of the carrier neutral data centres where their CSP has cloud on-ramps. This is typically implemented using a cross-connect between an organization’s infrastructure and the CSP port. Alternatively, this can be delivered using dedicated Network Service Provider connectivity options such as layer 1 optical Wavelengths or layer 2 Ethernet. However, this is not a cost-effective solution for lower bandwidths. 

  • Layer 1 optical Wavelengths offer very high bandwidth connectivity options - 10GE and 100GE, for organizations that need to transfer large amounts of data with high-performance, fully transparent connectivity to the cloud, pre-defined route through NSP network, fixed latency and dedicated bandwidth.
  • Layer 2 Ethernet in this scenario offers higher bandwidths up to 40G (depending on NSP), for peace of mind from built-in route resilience across the NSP network, deterministic latency, and guaranteed bandwidth.

Cloud Exchange

A Cloud Exchange enables an organization to connect to multiple cloud providers across a single connection. This provides more flexibility and control over cloud infrastructure, enabling an organization to select the best cloud provider option for each application or workload.
At the end of the day, the type of Cloud Connect that an organization chooses will depend on their specific requirements, existing infrastructure and budget. Each flavor of Cloud Connect offers different benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to carefully evaluate each option before making a decision.

Read our guide 'What is Cloud on ramp?' to to get more in-depth knowledge.

Cloud Connect benefits

Enhanced security

A dedicated private connection between an organization's network and the cloud provider's network ensures that data is transmitted securely. 
This provides a much higher level of security for sensitive data and applications than a public Internet connection.

Increased reliability

Cloud Connect offers higher reliability and availability compared to a public Internet solution. By using a dedicated connection, organizations can ensure that their data and applications are always accessible, without the risk of disruptions due to congestion or other network issues.
Improved performance

Cloud Connect can improve the performance of cloud-based applications by reducing latency and increasing bandwidth. This is particularly important for organizations that need to transfer large amounts of data or run applications requiring low latency, such as real-time analytics or video streaming.

Cost savings

Cloud Connect became very popular when organizations realized the cost savings cloud resources deliver as a result of lower CAPEX. On top of that, an organization can optimize their cloud architecture by choosing the most cost-effective cloud provider and avoiding unnecessary data transfer costs.


By connecting to cloud computing services, organizations can add or remove computing resources on demand, without the need for extensive hardware upgrades or changes to their network infrastructure. Cloud Connect adds an extra layer of security and speeds up cloud 

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