A Network that Networks — Part 3: Business Expansion with Alibaba Cloud Network
By Raghav K.
Organizational goals and how quickly you can meet them is the deciding factor for business expansion. The success behind the initial testing of a product or business application will get the ball rolling for future business scaling. The previous article of this series discussed how an organization started to capture all of the resources generated by a smart system installed at a workplace.
This system helped the business and multiple applications of the presented use-cases to spark an expansion of the platform and roll it out as a service nationwide. The very first step to capture this market scenario requires scaling of the existing network to meet the requirements of this new national expansion.
Alibaba Cloud has multiple data centers that are spread across regions worldwide. Alibaba Cloud supports auto-scaling and other features that build a strong infrastructure and durable management capability. The challenge of this expansion will be the need to manage massive volumes of traffic.
Requirements for Expansion
A low-latency, high-speed network with a systematic and centralized network management platform is required to connect and remotely manage the co-working spaces across zones. As this is a nationwide expansion, a stable, high-performing, and highly-available infrastructure is required for proper service delivery.
Technology Integration and Infrastructure
Nationwide expansion scenarios require the organization to scale-up the resources. According to the deployment strategy, we will explore different Alibaba Cloud products to showcase how they were implemented and how the organization could leverage the potential out of this solution by strategically planning and executing this expansion. We will discuss the implementation of Alibaba Cloud Elastic IP (EIP), VPN, and Express Connect.
Alibaba Cloud Elastic IP (EIP) — Virtual Private Network — DevOps
The organization decides to set up another Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) to cover multiple regions throughout the country. This is a practice to meet its high requirements for network latency and data transmission. The organization needs to connect to the on-premises data centers at different co-working spaces to pull information on personnel of different regions from these servers.
To enable faster deployment and to provide a secure and fast connection, the organization decides to leverage Alibaba Cloud’s VPN Gateway to connect the co-working spaces to the two data centers that are connected with Alibaba Cloud Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).
DevOps supports simplified cluster construction, scaling, and management. Integrating DevOps with the cloud enables accelerated software development and delivery. This enables seamless integration of multiple business units and enables end-to-end monitoring, as containers can be managed with a variety of open-source tools.
The organization needs to manage its public IP resources and has to deploy Alibaba Cloud Elastic IP (EIP) service. Alibaba Cloud EIP is an independent public IP resource that decouples ECS and public IP resources. Alibaba Cloud EIP provides high service reliability as EIPs can be dynamically bound to the NAT Gateway. Alibaba Cloud NAT Gateway helps with business expansion by extending the quality of service for better business continuity. Alibaba Cloud NAT Gateway is an extremely stable gateway service that supports disaster recovery across zones.
Expansion leads to a considerable amount of resources. Extending over a public network is an easier option when the organization has limited time and a budget for network expansion. Some factors have to be changed if the organization has to overcome any constraints during the expansion phase.
Alibaba Cloud Express Connect is an essential service for setting up internal network communication channels. It works to enhance cross-network communication performance, quality, and security. Express Connect can detect when the network is unstable or if there is a possible breach.
By implementing Express Connect, the organization could overcome a lot of expansion challenges. I have outlined a few of these challenges that the organization was able to overcome using Alibaba Cloud Express Connect below:
- Public networks may not be able to support large amounts of data transmission and efficient system integration; hence latency could be the first challenge.
- During transmission, packet loss is the second challenge. A constant threat to the stability and usability arises from packet loss, especially if a public network is used to transmit the data over its network.
- Deploying or provisioning data centers and leased fiber cables require infrastructure and maintenance. Cost is the third and most crucial challenge to overcome.
- Any organization cannot spend an extended time deploying a cross-region network. Quick deployment is another challenge that requires a lot of attention.
- Data transmission and connection over the public Internet can lead to an exposure of company assets to cyber-attacks, fraud, and other risks leading to a bigger set of problems.
- Disaster recovery is a highly critical solution to maintain connectivity. Alibaba Cloud disaster recovery solutions tend to these issues with ease.
To overcome these challenges, the organization has to opt for a leased line from its service provider to connect from its local IDC to an Alibaba Cloud access point using Express Connect. This connection will establish a physical connection to hybrid clouds and bring many benefits to the workplace setup.
- Security — Private network communications between both sides means the data can be securely transferred, eliminating the risk of data theft.
- Stability — Alibaba Cloud Express Connect provides redundant links to ensure the reliability and stability of communications.
- Performance — Alibaba Cloud Express Connect offers multiple connection modes and one or more access points in each region.
An organization can scale up to meet business expansion needs. The transformation of businesses with the changing technologies has provided us with an edge. Cloud providers like Alibaba Cloud have made it possible for organizations to scale up and provide solutions that showcase evolution with technological superiority.
A Network That Networks: Part 4
The next part of this article series will sum up how the organization scaled up and expanded their business model globally. This journey was made possible by the infrastructure and usage-based solutions provided by Alibaba Cloud.
- Alibaba Cloud Global Network Infrastructure for Business Expansion