The Essential Guide to Private Cloud for Business Communications

So you’re considering private cloud for your business communications. You’re not alone! In fact, more and more businesses are turning to cloud communications (a.k.a. hosted communications), as witnessed by its tremendous market growth of roughly 25 percent year over year.

Why choose private cloud for your communications? What do you need to know about private cloud? And what are the next steps on your path? Before diving in, you must have the answers to these key questions. That’s why we’ve prepared this handy guide to take you through the basics of private cloud communications and what you need to know before taking the next step.

What are the main reasons to deploy communication in a private cloud model?

Strength and security:  If you can’t risk the potential reliability and bandwidth issues involved in sharing the public cloud, private cloud provides maximum organizational control and security.

Powerful integrations: Private cloud deployments are ideal for large enterprises that need to integrate with existing systems and applications.

Budgeting flexibility: Private cloud platforms can be procured through a CAPEX or perpetual license model, or through a solutions provider with an OPEX or recurring license model.

Facts about private cloud communications

  • Private cloud is the most popular cloud deployment model for large enterprises and companies in industries with strict data regulations, like government or financial services.
  • Some businesses are subject to geographic regulations that dictate where their voice infrastructure must live. Private cloud deployment gives businesses the flexibility to accommodate these restrictions.
  • Opting for a hosted private cloud provides your business with the benefits of a dedicated architecture, without many of the IT management responsibilities.

Private Cloud Network Diagram

 

Connecting to your private cloud communications system

You can access your private cloud system through private connection lines or a secure, encrypted connection over a public network. This is achieved through multiprotocol label switching (MPLS). Companies use MPLS in high‐speed telecommunications networks to transport packets over virtual links. Data transmitted via MPLS contains known information about the network's topology, meaning it can be routed efficiently to its destination.

With MPLS, you get high call quality—making it a popular option for many businesses. Connecting multiple locations to an MPLS network can be more expensive than other options, making it best suited for larger organizations.

MPLS supports numerous access technologies, like:

  • T1/E1
  • Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM)
  • Frame relay
  • Digital subscriber lines (DSLs)

Some cloud communications providers offer MPLS networking as a fully integrated service that provides additional benefits. For example, quality of service (QoS) monitoring that can help businesses ensure that voice and video traffic is always prioritized above other types of network traffic to ensure good quality and low latency.

This service also alleviates the burden of identifying different circuits, deciphering different invoice formats (even multiple invoices from the same provider), recognizing bill cramming or toll fraud—all responsibilities that require many hours of management attention each month.

However, not all service providers offer networking services – some won’t even allow customer owned/managed links into their data centers – so you need to carefully evaluate different service provider options with your business requirements in mind.

Enhancing your private cloud connection with SD-WAN

With a new innovation, known as software‐defined wide area networking (or SD‐WAN), businesses can get the best of both the MPLS and OTT worlds: better quality at a lower cost. SD‐WAN delivers these benefits by using multiple network connections, including a mixture of OTT and/or OTT. SD-WAN reviews and evaluates all network traffic, prioritizes applications and can switch circuits in nearly an instant to ensure data and call quality are of highest priority.

With SD‐WAN, you get enterprise‐grade performance, visibility and control over Internet broadband and private links. WAN traffic is automatically steered across the best links and most optimal paths. Dynamic multipath packets are steered to the optimal link based on performance metrics, application requirements, business priority of the application and link cost. This technology can create a virtual, high‐bandwidth pipe from multiple, inexpensive broadband links and leased lines, providing businesses with improved WAN economics and quality.

The downside of SD-WAN is that it still relies on Internet connections that are vulnerable to congestion; however, you can mitigate this using multiple broadband connections. What’s more, using broadband connections with different ISPs and/or different carriers provides a backup in case of an outage.

Assessing your business requirements

Now that you’ve explored the different ways to connect to a private cloud communications platform, it’s time to assess your organization’s structure and requirements. Don’t forget, there are always public or hybrid cloud options if you’re not sure a private cloud deployment is the best fit for your business needs.

Here are the next steps to take on your way to private cloud communications:

  1. Consider your international boundaries

    If your business only operates in one country, you only have one set of regional considerations for your network. But if you’re a global business or plan to expand geographically in the future, you’ll need to abide by the different regulations in each country. Are you allowed to cross country boundaries with live media streams in every region you’d like to expand to? 

    Additionally, centralizing trunk services into your cloud data center requires a solid plan for number portability, language support, local emergency numbers and other elements that vary regionally.  
  2. Establish a home base

    Your private cloud will need equipment somewhere. Evaluate whether you have the IT resources to maintain your own infrastructure or if a hosted environment is a better fit for your business.
  3. Plan for the worst

    What’s the cost of downtime for your business? Can you afford to lose network connection without a backup plan? If not, you’ll need to consider an option for high availability to avoid leaving your users stranded in the event of failure. 

  4. Expand your vendor expectations

    As you evaluate whether private cloud communications is the right choice for your business today, consider the future as well. Whether you want to test the waters slowly or dive right into a private cloud deployment, choose a platform that allows you to grow, change and potentially even switch deployment models altogether in the future. Ask your vendor questions about their data centers, service level agreements (SLAs) and the total value of their offering—what can they provide beyond dial tone that will enhance your business and, ultimately, your bottom line? 

How private cloud powers the San Diego Padres

High performance companies need high performance solutions to power their business communications. With world-travelling scouts and staff, as well as remote sites to connect, the San Diego Padres turned to the cloud to ensure their communications were seamless.

 

 

Your best path to cloud communications

There’s a reason more subscribers choose Mitel for their cloud communications needs than any other brand. We work with customers to determine the best model for their unique business needs and implement a solution that delivers confidence and peace of mind, freeing you up to focus on your customers and your bottom line.

Your business communications are critical—that’s why Mitel only uses top tier data centers to offer the highest level of security and power for your cloud deployment, and a geo-redundant environment to reduce disruption in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

With public, private, and hybrid cloud deployment options, we offer a cloud deployment option tailored to your specific requirements today and designed to grow or change with your business to keep you covered in the future. And, no matter which model you choose, our expansive portfolio of customer experience, mobility and collaboration solutions provide a unified, comprehensive platform for your business communications.

Contact us today to speak with an expert about your best path to the cloud.

This guide contains excerpts from Cloud Communications For Dummies®. Click here for your complimentary copy.