Companies of all sizes and branches of activity face some common challenges when it comes to networks — they are increasingly distributed (deployed locally or in the cloud), complex, having to work with various types of workloads, obviously without neglecting high performance and security, regardless of where the data is stored. Google Cloud has recently been observing customers' network demands and information from reports by consulting and research firms. The conclusion was that there was a prevalence of adoption of multi-cloud infrastructures and also of the hybrid working model. It also noted a prevailing concern with cybersecurity and the costs associated with cyber intrusions. Considering offering a simple, holistic solution to address the challenges associated with cross-cloud networking and reducing total cost of ownership (TCO), Google Cloud has launched the Cross-Cloud Network. The announcement was made during the presentation of several other new features at Next '23, the first face-to-face Google event since 2019 that brings together customers and partners to showcase the innovations the company is working on in areas such as infrastructure, data, AI, collaboration in the workspace and cybersecurity. The Cross-Cloud Network is a global, open and programmable cloud networking platform that aims to offer simple connectivity between on-premises and cloud installations. It is made up of new and existing Google Cloud products and partners working together to simplify the deployment of key multi-cloud networking use cases. Google Cloud states that the three main features of the Cross-Cloud Network are: 1. Being open: Simplifies the integration of partner products and services, providing more solution options with better time-to-market. It is also programmable, allowing services to be customized according to business demand. 2. Be secure: ML-based security products such as Cloud Armor and partnerships with companies such as Palo Alto Networks help integrate advanced cybersecurity technologies with security posture controls. 3. Being optimized: Optimizes the performance of workloads with lower latency and higher transfer rates and bandwidth. One of the possible use cases that can benefit from the Cross-Cloud Network's resources is the distribution of applications between clouds, which can reduce the total cost of ownership by up to 40%, according to Google Cloud. This is done through products such as Cross-Cloud Interconnect, launched in May to offer a managed interconnection with a bandwidth of 10 Gbps or 100 Gbps and an SLA of 99.99%. “Yahoo Mail is migrating its back-end to Google Cloud and leveraging its global-scale network for high-performance and secure access to Google's data services. This will help Yahoo deliver performance and security to hundreds of millions of mailboxes,” said Aaron Lake, senior vice president and CIO of Yahoo. Another use case is the faster delivery of Internet applications. Quality of experience is crucial for these types of applications, such as games, shopping, live streaming and shorts, to name a few. Through the Cross-Cloud Network, these applications can rely on Google's global front-end, with high performance, reliability, global reach and also a 40% lower TCO. This global front-end is even more streamlined, according to Google Cloud, with a new automation toolkit that makes it possible to quickly integrate and automate unified application delivery and protection solutions. There are predefined tasks and workflows available for common operations and an opinionated automation approach with best practices. A third use case is ensuring secure access for hybrid workforces. Security Service Edge (SSE) solutions are being adopted by companies to provide secure access to business applications and help protect remote employees. However, there is often greater latency, as these SSE solutions rely on fixed tunnels over Internet links. It is also difficult to get traffic from local users who demand high bandwidth to the SSE solutions to carry out security inspections. As an alternative, organizations often deploy firewalls locally. To eliminate these barriers, the Cross-Cloud Network can direct all traffic from local users to SSE solutions hosted on Google Cloud. After security inspections, the traffic is routed to the applications in Google Cloud or to other clouds via Cross-Cloud Interconnect. As the security stack is deployed natively in Google Cloud, no tunnels or overlay networks are required, ensuring better performance. As a result of the native integration of SSE solutions in the Cross-Cloud Network, companies will have security controls and a reduction of up to 35% in network latency, says Google Cloud. "Business outcomes and use cases continue to drive cloud adoption, not the other way around. The main outcomes sought by executive leaders when adopting cloud solutions are IT modernization, greater efficiency and better data security," comments Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner.