X
May 4, 2020

FastConnect Connectivity Guide: Choosing Right Model And Partner

By: Aditya Rajeev Kulkarni | Staff Solution Engineer

Share

Overview:

 

This document gives guidelines on how to choose from the various connectivity options when accessing Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (also known as OCI) and focuses on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure’s dedicated network connection service “FastConnect”. The document also helps explaining various connectivity models with FastConnect and identifying right FastConnect Partner.

 

Cloud Connectivity Options:

 

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure provides three primary ways to connect to Cloud from your on-premises. 

 

Internet based:

 

Public Internet:

 

Diagram 1. Connectivity through public internet

 

As illustrated in the diagram 1, the traffic traverses the public internet when reaching out to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. The origin can be your data center network. The traffic is not encrypted over the internet. However, you can use application layer encryption with SSL and TLS if applicable.

 

VPN Connect:

 

 

Diagram 2. Connectivity through VPN Connect

 

This option provides additional security to the Public Internet option. As you can see in diagram 2, when you use VPN Connect, the entire IP communication between source (on premises network/external mobile users) to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is encrypted.  Note that the traffic still traverses over the public internet but is encrypted and hides the internal IP addresses of the participating networks.

 

Private/Dedicated connection:

 

FastConnect:

 

Diagram 3. Connectivity through FastConnect

 

As opposed to the public internet, FastConnect is a private, dedicated connection between your data center and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. It provides higher bandwidth options and offers more consistent and reliable performance. You can extend your data center network (private peering) or access public services on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (public peering).

 

Choosing the right option:

 

Choosing an appropriate connectivity option depends on your deployments and workloads on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Following are the major factors affecting your choice:

 

Bandwidth and latency:

 

Determine the bandwidth and throughput requirements for your workloads on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. FastConnect offers 1Gbps incremental or 10Gbps bandwidth. For large data transfers or applications that require significant bandwidth, FastConnect would be a better option. If some latency and unpredictable performance is acceptable, VPN Connect or public internet is the way to go.

 

Cost:

 

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure do not charge for VPN Connect, whereas FastConnect is charged based on the Port Per Hour. Note that there is no charge for ingress or egress data transfer.  https://www.oracle.com/cloud/networking/fastconnect.html#pricing

 

Workloads running:

 

Whether you need a dedicated connection or public internet depends a lot on the workload you are running or a way you have deployed your workloads. For example, mission critical workloads are latency sensitive and hence FastConnect is recommended due to its predictable performance. Similarly, if you are running an application tier in your data center and database on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure or vice versa, FastConnect gives you minimum latency required for the set up. On the other hand, VPN Connect meets the need of non-mission critical workloads like those of development.

 

 

Compliance/Security:

 

With VPN Connect, your traffic is end to end encrypted over the public internet whereas FastConnect is a private and secure connection which provides isolation from rest of the internet. You chose the connectivity based on the security or compliance requirements.

 

Sample workloads for each connectivity option:

 

Public Internet:

Application or Web servers that you want to have publicly available for external users

 

VPN Connect:

 

You have an application running on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure which your internal users need to access or application/service that does not require high bandwidth or low latency.  Users can be in your data center or mobile.

 

FastConnect:

 

High volume data transfers from your data center to the cloud, migrating workloads, distributed workload tiers requiring minimum latency.

 

Quick Comparison Chart:

 

Attributes

FastConnect

VPN Connect

Public Internet

Connection Type

Dedicated private circuit

Internet based

Internet based

Bandwidth

High bandwidth (1G/10G) (guaranteed)

Best effort

Best effort

Performance

Predictable performance with low latency

Unpredictable

Unpredictable

Security/Compliance

Isolated private network path/routes

End-to-end encrypted communication

None but can be achieved through upper layer encryption like TLS/SSL

Cost

Port per hour plus any network partner charges if applicable

None

None

Redundancy

Router redundancy for each FastConnect location and location redundancy depending on the region

Oracle provides 2 VPN end points (gateways) per connection by default for redundancy

No connection redundancy

Multi cloud solutions

Possible with the help of network partners

Not possible

Not possible

 

 

 

FastConnect:

 

Till this point, you should have a better idea on how to choose from various connectivity models. Now let’s focus on FastConnect. As we discussed earlier, FastConnect is a private, dedicated connection from your data center to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure which provides consistent, predictable performance. It is recommended for enterprise applications and workloads running critical business functions those require high bandwidth, are sensitive to network latency and have stricter security and compliance requirements.  FastConnect offers two kinds of peering:

 

Private peering:

When you want to extend your data center private network to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

 

Public Peering:

Presents a high bandwidth, private option to access the public services on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure from your data center. It provides an alternative to public Internet.

 

FastConnect Connectivity Models:

 

Let’s dive deeper into the connectivity models that FastConnect offers. Connectivity models refer to the means of connecting your data center to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

 

Colocation with Oracle:

 

https://www.oracle.com/a/ocom/img/cc07-logical-colocation-2.jpg

Diagram 4. FastConnect though Direct Connect/Colocation

 

This connectivity model is recommended when your data center is in the same location as with one of the FastConnect Location. The list of Oracle FastConnect locations by region can be found here: https://www.oracle.com/cloud/networking/fastconnect-providers.html. You don’t need to collaborate with any FastConnect partner. You can facilitate a cross-connect from your cage to Oracle’s cage by working with colo-provider as depicted in diagram 4. Port speeds of 1Gbps and 10Gbps are available per cross connect.

 

Oracle Provider:

https://www.oracle.com/a/ocom/img/cc07-using-oracle-fc-partner.jpg

Diagram 5. FastConnect through Oracle Provider

 

This is one of the recommended connectivity model. Oracle has worked on integrating the FastConnect Service with Network service providers (NSP) and Cloud Exchanges to extend the reach and provide more FastConnect on-ramp locations. Customers can connect to these partners at their location and ride over partner’s network to connect to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. This is the most flexible and typically least expensive option.

 

 

Colocation through Third Party Provider:

 

https://www.oracle.com/a/ocom/img/cc07-3rd-party-network-carrier.jpg

Diagram 6. FastConnect through third party provider

 

You can choose any third-party Network Carrier/Provider if you don’t find a Oracle Provider operating at your location. You need to work with network provider who is responsible for laying out a physical connection between your data center and FastConnect location. Port speeds of 1Gbps and 10Gbps are available per cross connect.

 

Choosing the right connectivity model:

 

Though your data center location is the biggest factor impacting your choice of FastConnect Connectivity model, there are some other considerations as well which we will go through:

 

Data center location:

 

This is the major factor affecting the choice of FastConnect connectivity model. If you have presence in the same location as one of the FastConnect location, we recommend you directly connect to Oracle. If you cannot collocate, you can choose one of the Network Providers that Oracle has partnered with to establish a connection. 

 

Cost:

  • If you are connected through a FastConnect provider, the billable port is the virtual circuit. You're charged based on the bandwidth level you choose for the virtual circuit. You pay a fixed dollar amount per 1 Gbps. For example, if you specify 1 Gbps for your virtual circuit, you're charged at one times the hourly rate as specified here. If you choose 2 Gbps for the virtual circuit, you're charged 2 times that hourly price, and so on.
  • If you are directly connected (either colocated in a FastConnect location, or connected using a third-party network provider), the billable port is the cross-connect (physical port). You are NOT charged based on the number of virtual circuits or their bandwidth level.

Time to get the connection running:

 

Once you are on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, you need to determine how soon you want your workloads be operational. This is typically governed by the urgency but there are multiple factors contributing to the criteria. For example, your data center lease is about to end soon or you already have an application tier running on Oracle and want to migrate your databases to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure as soon as possible, you may want to consider Collocation with Oracle or through Oracle Provider. Collocating through third party Network Provider generally takes more time to provision the connection as it involves laying out physical connection from your remote data center up to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure from start.

 

 

Identifying Right Partner:

 

Once you decide to work with the network providers, there are few considerations:

 

Location:

 

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure operates in 5 major regions (NA, EMEA, APAC, LATAM & Government). Each one has one or more FastConnect data centers. Once you choose Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Region to put your resources on, you need to choose a network provider that has a connection to one of the FastConnect Oracle Locations from your region. Oracle Providers and their connectivity to Oracle Regions can be found at https://www.oracle.com/cloud/networking/fastconnect-providers.html. You also need to ensure that the network provider serves your data center location.

 

Port Speeds:

 

Oracle provides the options of either 1Gbps or 10Gbps bandwidth. But different network providers offer different bandwidth options. For example, CenturyLink who is a layer 2 FastConnect provider offers 1G, 2G or 3G bandwidth.

 

Physical Redundancy:

 

 

Diagram 7. Router and location redundancy

 

Within some of the Oracle Regions, Oracle has more than one FastConnect locations. To have physical location redundancy, you can ask your network provider to provision two FastConnect connections connecting to two physical FastConnect locations. If you or your Oracle/third party are only collocated at one physical FastConnect location, you still have hardware level redundancy, meaning you get 2 edge devices per location to connect to. You should have a conversation with your network provider to implement your desired redundancy. Diagram 7 shows maximum resiliency through both router as well as physical location redundancy.

 

Cost:

 

Different network providers charge differently for the bandwidth or the connection service. It also depends on your existing partnership with the network carrier or whether they are your current ISP.

 

References:

                                             

https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/en-us/iaas/Content/Network/Concepts/fastconnect.htm

https://www.oracle.com/cloud/networking/fastconnect.html

https://www.oracle.com/cloud/networking/fastconnect-providers.html

 

Share