With an on-premises data center, there always be some limitations in terms of resources that’s why the cloud is much preferable because it comes with almost unlimited resources with zero Capex and the Opex is still a lot cheaper if you compare it with any existing on-premise solution with a cloud solution. A lot of small, mid, and even enterprises completely migrated their infrastructure to the cloud because of the same reason, also cloud offers a lot of other features in terms of high availability, data durability, holistic controls, ease of use, security, SLA’s, shared responsibility and so much more. There are also a lot of companies who are born in the cloud i.e., using cloud from day one (1). Also, there are a lot of companies that are using a hybrid model, using both cloud and on-prem solutions and services.
Cloud brings a lot of services and features but there was a still is a problem for a lot of organizations, that to access cloud they have to use the internet, of course, they use VPN connections to secure the transmission but that comes with some latency issues and jitters that you can expect with any kind of VPN as it uses internet, and that is a problem that requires a solution that clouds help cloud customers to use the cloud resource with much better speed and without the hassle and drawbacks of the VPN. Alibaba Cloud’s answer and solution to this problem was and are Cloud Connect Network (CCN). CCN is a cluster/array/matrix of Alibaba Cloud’s distributed access gateways (Smart Access Gateway aka SAG).
SAG allows you to connect your on-premises data center to the nearest Alibaba Cloud’s VPC with industry-standard encryption schemes, anti-reply protection, temper-proofing, and intelligence that you can not only monitor but also adjust network configurations on the fly to match any configuration changes on-prem or any other hop. SAG also comes with centralized management directly through the cloud console. The offering doesn’t stop here, there are still some more major features along with security and automatic network configurations; it also offers high availability (device-based, link-based, access point-based). It also supports multiple types of connection modes like 4G, dedicated connections, and broadband.
You can add as many SAGs into your offices, branch offices, locations, sites and not only have better connectivity between offices and cloud but you can also create your very own Enterprise Network by attaching your CCN instance to Alibaba Cloud’s Cloud Enterprise Network (CEN). In addition to this if your CCN and CEN are in the same area you don’t need cross-area bandwidth which you normally have to purchase as it is one of the basic billing models of all the cloud service providers. So, you not only get better speed and private access to your cloud resources but have your own enterprise-class network with better security and availability and not pay for extra bandwidth.
This all sounds very complex and time-consuming but actually, it is very simple and doesn’t require a lot of man-hours.
Steps for Creating a CCN instance
- To connect your office/branch office/site/location; simply attach a Smart Access Gateway (SAG) device to Alibaba Cloud.
- For that you must first create a CCN instance
- Then attach the SAG instance to the CCN instance
- Lastly attach the CCN instance to the CEN instance
In 4 steps you have it all figured out, it’s that simple. These steps do require some additional sub-steps but it’s all cloud-based, quick and easy. All you need to do is think of some name for the instances, location where you want to deploy, CIDR blocks (which are absolutely necessary, as for any kind of networks), and lastly some copy-pasting account IDs.