XO Interconnects With Microsoft Azure via Equinix Cloud Exchange

By Edward Gately

Network-services giant XO Communications is introducing direct links to Microsoft Azure through the Equinix Cloud Exchange, starting with connections from data centers in the Washington, D.C., area and Silicon Valley.

The move is designed to help further support enterprises with dedicated connectivity to multiple cloud service providers.

Nearly a year ago, Microsoft gave the OK for the channel to sell its Azure IaaS. With Azure, Microsoft is taking on Amazon Web Services, which has long dominated large-scale public cloud infrastructure.

“Microsoft is committed to helping enterprises realize the benefits of hybrid cloud by enabling them to connect their data center to the Azure public cloud with ExpressRoute,” said Ross Ortega, principal product manager, networking, Microsoft Azure. “Through our collaboration with XO and Equinix, we are bringing the power of the cloud to even more customers.”

Enterprises are adopting cloud strategies to reduce IT spending on hardware, software and services, but security and performance concerns have deterred many businesses from accessing cloud environments because of the risks inherent with using the public Internet. Partnerships like this aim to mitigate those concerns.

“Enterprises need to increase the velocity of their business growth while constraining total IT spending,” said Jake Heinz, XO’s senior vice president of marketing and product. “XO enables the evolution of the hybrid IT function whereby the IT organization becomes a trusted cloud services broker for the entire organization. With dedicated network connections to Azure, IT managers are now able to cost effectively drive productivity by deploying true hybrid cloud architectures.”

Also this week, Cosentry, the IT services provider, extended its managed cloud services to Azure.

The new service focuses on big data, using Azure for SQL server testing and development, server backup and disaster-recovery environments.

“Our expanded offering underscores this philosophy by offering hybrid cloud support of Azure, with a focus on providing more cost-effective options for database environments, fully managed by Cosentry,” said Brad Hokamp, Cosentry’s CEO.

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