Multi-tenant clouds and MPLS VPNs

People are comparing utility computing (such as provided by clouds) to electricity for instance.

I was wondering if the level of trust we put on multi-tenant clouds is the same as MPLS VPNs. Let me explain:

1. In MPLS VPNs we have to trust in:

  • The ISP
  • The MPLS protocol and its correct implementation
  • That no one can physically access to the networks

If this is too much to handle, we can encrypt the data.

2. On mutli-tenant clouds we have to trust in:

  • The cloud provider
  • The isolation between costumers data and virtual machines
  • That no one can physically access the virtual machine

And encryption is still an option.

However, unlike MPLS, for cloud isolation there is no specification done by a standard body like IETF and clouds are more complex (they include communication, computing and storage).

What do you think? Comments are welcome


2 thoughts on “Multi-tenant clouds and MPLS VPNs

  1. I predict that due to the threat of DDoS attacks on public cloud services, large enterprise business cloud buyers will integrate public-like cloud services into hybrid cloud architectures (public+private) using some form of a VPN service from a VPN service provider that is integrated with third-party pseudo-public cloud services data centers or private network PoPs (operated by Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, etc.).

    If companies are interesting in defining standards for this type of solution pattern, the TM Forum can help ( in liaison with other established and mature industry groups.

    • Stephen, I agree with you that hybrid architectures could be the first step into cloud computing and that VPNs will play an important role for those scenarios. But I rather see practical issues as major motivation: hybrid scenarios allow to make first experience with the cloud on non-critical projects or applications without the need to migrate the whole infrastructure.

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