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Why Cloud Onramps and SD-WAN Aren’t Enough for Cloud Connectivity

When choosing the right cloud connectivity option, it’s important to compare the popular solutions used today: DIY cloud onramp, SD-WAN, or a multi-cloud networking platform.

Why Cloud Onramps and SD-WAN Aren’t Enough for Cloud Connectivity

Why Cloud Onramps and SD-WAN Aren’t Enough for Cloud Connectivity

Read on this article to learn why cloud onramps and SD-WAN aren’t enough. Inside you’ll learn:

  • Multicloud networking platforms are the latest in cloud connectivity and are more cost-effective and provide faster implementations, maintenance
  • Connection types including IPsec VPN, mobile, and private line
  • Private connectivity offerings from multi-cloud networking providers need to operate at layer 3 and require BGP peering

Content Summary

DIY Cloud Onramp
Multicloud Networking Platforms

DIY Cloud Onramp

The original, and still popular, option is a cloud onramp. This approach is time-consuming, expensive, and requires significant networking expertise.

Typically, enterprises order a private line from their office to an on-premises facility or a carrier’s network, and from there cross-connect to the cloud provider’s private connectivity offering (e.g., AWS Direct Connect). It also requires a private line from the enterprise’s on-premises facility to a colocation cloud onramp-enabled data center, using your equipment or a third party’s (such as a carrier).

Prior to ordering the private circuit, enterprises must identify maximum throughput needed because it requires a long-term contract that doesn’t allow bandwidth to be increased/decreased as needed.

When connecting multiple sites to this cloud network, traffic bound for one destination is first directed to another intermediate location, such as an on-premises facility. This creates a hairpin network, which can add latency and impact network performance.

Significant networking experience is required because cloud onramps are designed at layer 2, while private connectivity offerings from cloud providers operate at layer 3 and require BGP peering.


SD-WAN is gaining traction, but not without drawbacks. SD-WANs connect to the cloud over public internet connections, making them vulnerable to high latency, unexpected jitter, and packet loss. With public internet connections, enterprises face higher egress transfer costs compared to the egress fees public cloud providers charge for a private connection.

If implemented in-house, a skilled IT department must plan, design, implement, and maintain. A cloud consultant can assist with the implementation, but allow for significant time for planning. Hiring externally can have a higher up-front cost to deploy, and a financial burden when future issues occur.

When interconnecting multiple sites and the cloud, new equipment is required for each, making implementation costs increase as an enterprise grows. SD-WAN solutions also require a dedicated virtual appliance inside the cloud environment, incurring additional cost and often requiring capacity planning and ongoing monitoring.

Multicloud Networking Platforms

Multicloud networking platforms, such as Pureport, are the latest in cloud connectivity and are more cost-effective, provide faster implementations, maintenance is less expensive, and support a variety of connection types including IPsec VPN, mobile, and direct.

These platforms take advantage of the cloud providers’ private connectivity offerings (e.g., AWS Direct Connect, Azure ExpressRoute), and enterprises benefit from lower egress costs and more predictable network performance.

When leveraging a multi-cloud networking platform with a layer 3 distributed multi-cloud router, enterprises design and deploy to a fully-meshed network. A multi-cloud router simplifies configuration and deployment by assigning WAN network subnets, discovering autonomous system numbers, and automatically configuring BGP sessions.

Some multicloud networking platforms support access from on-premises networks via an IPsec VPN, allowing networks to be built in minutes, which is a significant advantage.

Multicloud networking platforms use intent-based networking to simplify the building of networks by mapping to business objectives (e.g., connect site A to cloud B), and then automatically orchestrates the necessary changes without the need for advanced networking skills.

Networks are often configured with overlapping IP address ranges. A multicloud router with Cloud Grade NAT functionality intelligently detects and resolves IP address conflicts to enable the interconnection of networks.

Along with lower costs to implement, the cost to maintain networks is lower. Multicloud networking platforms typically offer usage-based billing similar to the cloud providers. And in direct contrast to cloud onramps with fixed bandwidth, multicloud networking platforms allow users to increase/decrease bandwidth on-demand so enterprises pay for only the bandwidth needed.

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