One of the most common objections I hear when it comes to moving your data to the cloud is the data’s journey over the public internet. Last year I wrote an article about why thanks to encryption this is not really an issue. However, as one systems administrator in a meeting said to me “as long as I’m in this chair, not a singly byte of data will leave this plant’s network”, I realize we need to be more convincing. Did you know that companies don’t need to rely on the internet at all to use the cloud?

I’ll focus here on Microsoft Azure because that’s the cloud provider I’m most familiar with. Other cloud providers offer a similar service. Microsoft manages its own global high-speed network that is separated from the internet. You can compare it to a separate toll highway that separates you from the other roads (i.e. the internet). Companies can connect their plant’s network to the Microsoft backbone network and use it to communicate with their cloud infrastructure. This way no data travels over the internet.

Besides security, additional benefits are greater speed and lower latency and high availability. Of course, like a toll-way, this service comes with a financial cost…