As the economy ebbs and flows, the pressure for application providers to lower operating costs comes into greater focus.
The shift to cloud operations was driven by this motivation. In addition to the scalability, flexibility and availability that cloud computing offers, lowering IT operational costs was one of the biggest reasons for the switch.
Similarly, the evolution of application architectures has driven a number of application providers to consider the move to Data Mesh connectivity solutions.
Functioning similar to a service mesh, a Data Mesh creates a layer of connectivity that abstracts away the complexities of connecting, managing and supporting access to data. It is used to stitch together data held across multiple data silos and make that data available to an application. The core premise of a data mesh is that it is used to connect distributed data sources across different locations and organizations.
While this greatly simplifies the life of an application provider in many ways, the justification for making the switch often lies in the cost savings that can be achieved when compared to legacy solutions such as VPN or MPLS.
Costs can be divided up into two forms; hard costs and soft costs.
Hard costs – These are costs of the hardware, circuits, and software associated with the infrastructure.
Soft costs – These are the costs of operating the infrastructure. Costs to maintain, update, and support the deployment.
Data Mesh integrates several valuable components that enable cost savings across both hard and soft costs.
When an application provider must connect to data sources that they don’t own or control, the ability to deploy easily and in a timely matter is crucial. Sending out a network technician is not a scalable option, but relying on a customer’s onsite technicians can lead to delays in deployments and ultimately revenue recognition (impacting margin).
Data Meshes have stepped up to alleviate both hard and soft costs of new connections by enabling one-touch deployments via pre-configured low-cost hardware appliances that are shipped onsite or, for more advanced users, the ability to deploy new connections remotely through virtual appliances installed on pre-existing servers or cloud environments.
Gone are the days of waiting to procure hardware from vendors (who distribute through partners that don’t control inventory) and require costly network engineers to make onsite visits for a new connection. With a Data Mesh architecture, new connections can be stood up in days, not weeks.
Hardware and Software
Because Data Meshes are a software-defined solution, they eliminate the need for expensive proprietary networking hardware.
As stated earlier, with Trustgrid’s Data Mesh Platform hardware is optional, but when hardware is required it is considerably less expensive than gear from the legacy networking hardware providers…up to 90% less in some cases. And when virtual appliances can be deployed, they can eliminate the cost of hardware completely.
Provided as a subscription-based service, Trustgrid’s platform incorporates networking, automation and support features at an annual cost that is lower than the cost of some maintenance and support fees from legacy networking vendors.
Combined, the hardware and software expenses of a Data Mesh dramatically reduce the hard costs of networking between applications and their remote data sources, while also providing a number of improved features.
Centralized Orchestration and Maintenance
One of the key features of a Data Mesh is its ability to centralize connections to data sources in any location.
As with any technology, the ongoing maintenance and support costs often far exceed the hard costs of infrastructure. Networking technologies are no different. And when faced with the challenge of not controlling both sides of a connection (as application providers often are), these costs can add up considerably.
By centralizing the configuration and management of Data Mesh connections, application providers are able to streamline the monitoring, maintenance and support of all connections.
The ability to centralize policy enforcement and other network security functions also mean less hours spent on routine tasks such as compliance. For application providers this can mean freeing up staff time to work on more important, value adding tasks that can total hundreds of hours per month.
All of this adds up to soft cost savings that increase exponentially with the number of connections under management.
Eliminating Dedicated Circuits
By their nature, Data Meshes do not require expensive dedicated circuits such as MPLS or AWS Direct Connect. These connections limit available bandwidth and can easily cost hundreds a month per site.
In contrast, a Data Mesh runs over any available internet connection. While the historical case for MPLS has been made around uptime and availability, Data Meshes solve this by using existing internet connections configured in redundant pairs. This high availability (HA) pairing ensures that should one connection fail, it will be automatically switched over to a back-up connection without manual interference or downtime. This automated failover function ensures a 99.9% uptime SLA for critical connections that must be ‘always on’.
By eliminating the need for dedicated circuits and paying per megabit of transfer rate, hard costs are significantly reduced while ensuring the same availability as legacy alternatives.
All told, combining the hard and soft costs of a Data Mesh can reduce the total cost of connectivity by 50% for many application providers.
These lower operating costs translate to improved productivity, focus and most importantly they translate into improved profitability of the application.
Learn more about the ways that Trustgrid’s Data Mesh Platform can help your application lower operating costs.