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Private highway to the cloud

Tao Ai Lei | Oct. 5, 2015
High-throughput, secure cloud access is now a key tool in the corporate cloud user’s arsenal.

This is a sponsored article by Singtel.

Cloud computing has dramatically changed the way applications, virtualised servers and cloud storage are delivered and consumed, to become Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

Organisations typically access these services through the enterprise network. However, once these services are virtualised or shifted to the cloud, they typically access these services through the Internet. Unfortunately, accessing data or applications via the Internet can be unpredictable.

As cloud adoption accelerates, enterprises now seek greater control over cloud connections. To meet these new challenges, some networking vendors suggest point products or partial solutions such as IP routing, which are more suitable as temporary solutions.

Enterprise customers typically access their cloud solutions via the public Internet. But to achieve a secure and high-quality user experience, organisations could consider alternative solutions such as establishing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to the cloud applications.

Private and Secure Access

Enterprise customers can now bypass the public Internet, to connect faster and more securely into Microsoft's Azure public cloud using Singtel's Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) Virtual Private Network that is directly integrated with Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute service.

Enterprises do not have to make additional investments to connect securely to Microsoft Azure. This convenience enables enterprises to access Window's cloud computing infrastructure securely anywhere in Asia Pacific, making access to Azure feel like a natural extension from your network. It can be used to transfer large amounts of data such as datasets for high performance computing applications or to move large virtual machines that have been running in Azure.

One organisation that has experienced the benefits of such a solution is Mitsui Sumitomo Fire Insurance Company, a financial services company. It uses Singtel IP VPN solution to connect Mitsui's employees over 20 locations worldwide. Regardless of country, users experience secure and deterministic connection with low latency for data transfer. Singtel Cloud Access is like an extension of their current network, which establishes a private connection to Microsoft Azure, enabling its users to enjoy secure authentication for web conferencing.

"At the most basic level, the security of the enterprise network had to meet the financial institute's standard. It did not matter if we were using Azure in Japan or Azure in Singapore. However, after comparing different proposals from different providers, Singtel offered the best fit for our environment especially with its integration with Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute," said Manabu Nishimura, Manager, Systems Management Division at MS&AD Systems, who designed and managed the network for Mitsui Sumitomo.

He said it provided a cost-effective solution for synchronising on-premise authentication servers with cloud authentication systems to ensure that web conferences could be hosted securely. "The initial cost is estimated to be one-tenth of the cost of independently building a web conference authentication system," he said.


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