A Hidden Gem: Dedicated Direct Cloud

Sometimes a mundane work exercise can trigger sudden and deeper understanding. I had that experience recently while reviewing pricing for PacketFabric products. I stumbled upon what I believe is a hidden product gem: PacketFabric dedicated direct cloud connection.

I’ve been working with PacketFabric for the better part of two years now, and though I understood the technical difference between “dedicated” and “hosted” cloud connectivity, I hadn’t sat down and priced out the differences or looked at how dedicated connection was addressed competitively in the industry.

You would think that a dedicated connection would have a relatively high break-even cost compared to using multiple hosted connections, but the surprise in my own exploration was that that isn’t true at PacketFabric.

When it comes to dedicated cloud connectivity, PacketFabric is just different in approach – including pricing – and that is good news for cloud consumers.

Hosted vs. Dedicated Cloud Connectivity

Our own documentation has a great synopsis of the basic differences between hosted and dedicated cloud connectivity to ground your own exploration. 

Beyond the obvious fact that a dedicated cloud port is not shared with other customers, the two main differences are that the dedicated cloud connection can support bandwidth over 10Gbps and “connect to multiple endpoints.” Hosted connections are currently limited to 10Gbps by cloud providers and support a single site per connection.

How to handle connecting multiple sites to the public cloud at bandwidths over 1 Gbps is one of the two growing cloud WAN architectural challenges for enterprises as their operations inevitably move toward a cloud model.  

The tools available for building a private multi-site to cloud architecture are:

  • Multiple hosted connections
  • Dedicated connection
  • Pre-cloud aggregation (like a cloud router “in front of” the cloud connection)

PacketFabric’s competitors treat dedicated cloud as “just another port” and make the total cost of dedicated cloud connectivity for their customers the sum of a cross-connect (usually paid to a third party provider), plus the port at the cloud on-ramp site and the cost of the generic point-to-point EVC/EVPL connections from other sites in the network to that port.  

From a process perspective, competitors also place the customer “in the middle” of the provisioning by having them call a sales rep to facilitate the connection after talking with their cloud provider, which is one of the areas of friction Network as a Service is supposed to address. 

PacketFabric’s dedicated cloud connect isn’t a one-off process, it’s a product. We don’t make you call a salesperson. Of course, you can call and we’d be happy to assist you, but you order a dedicated connection through our portal just like any other connection.  

We also price our dedicated cloud connections differently. In our dedicated Metro and Long Haul dedicated connection products, the price includes not only the port but ALL the EVC/EVPL connections you can make within the product scope (e.g. within the same metro for Metro and inclusive of long haul EVCs in the Long Haul version).  

Granted that competitors price their generic point to point EVC/EVPL connections a little lower than hosted connections (we do as well). But, the PacketFabric “all you can eat” dedicated products are currently priced below competitive solutions for a port and a single point-to-point EVC/EVP connection!

The most significant difference in the step between hosted and dedicated is probably in who is paying for the cross-connect to the cloud provider port, which was mentioned earlier. In the dedicated case, the customer does, which is an additional monthly variable cost depending on the location of the on-ramp. But that cost isn’t usually enough to undermine the cost advantage of PacketFabric dedicated connections over other architecture dedicated or multi-site-hosted solutions if you’re going to be connecting more than just a single site.  

That’s right. The “break even” point for PacketFabric dedicated versus competitor hosted cloud connections or dedicated connection solutions is just beyond your first site to cloud connection.

Which Solution Is Best For You?

As mentioned earlier, a Layer 3 aggregator, like our Cloud Router, is also an architectural alternative for building the multi-site to cloud WAN. There is additional cost in an aggregator that makes it less attractive as a solution unless you need its multi-cloud routing functionality (or to route between end sites).  

Now, dedicated may not be the best solution for every cloud WAN architecture, but it shouldn’t be discounted and can ultimately be quite a cost saver with some additional benefits – even if you ultimately do need a cloud router.

If the future of your organization is the cloud and to a large extent “public” cloud, when will your organization’s needs shift from a single virtual connection to multiple for a cloud provider region? Our team would be happy to help you discover whether PacketFabric dedicated cloud connections are right for your organization’s current or future needs.

Schedule your call with our team here.