CenturyLink, Microsoft Azure Form Cloud Alliance

Cloud connectivity

CenturyLink just expanded Cloud Connect Dynamic Connections to Microsoft Azure and Azure Government.

CenturyLink says it now can directly connect to about 70% of the desired destinations for all public cloud market users.

Chris McReynolds, CenturyLink‘s vice president of core network services, tells Channel Partners customers of CenturyLink’s data center operation partners can leverage this capability to build multicloud hybrid environments to optimize their mix of on-premises workloads and public-cloud workloads.

CenturyLink's Chris McReynolds

CenturyLink’s Chris McReynolds

“Another key partner channel that will benefit from this are our indirect partners, including VARs and system integrators,” he said. “They often help customers manage the migration of workloads into public clouds, and this capability lets them create secure private connections in near real-time on behalf of their customers. Overall, our expanded network connectivity solution enables customers to leverage Cloud Connect Dynamic Connections with Microsoft ExpressRoute in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. We’ve purposely targeted connectivity for Azure because combined with AWS, who we already have connectivity for, we are addressing the majority of public cloud users.”

Customers can do real-time turn-up and turn-downs of private Ethernet connections to cloud service providers via a self-service portal or API. This usage-based model allows enterprises to consume bandwidth in the same way they are used to consuming cloud services.

CenturyLink’s fiber network of more than 2,200 public and private data centers, and more than 150,000 on-net enterprise buildings allows hybrid cloud solutions with a range of service providers across the globe, McReynolds said.

“This additional connectivity option benefits any organization that leverages Azure, or is looking to implement it for their workloads,” he said. “It is also beneficial for government users — due to the Azure Government component. There are several differentiators including secure Layer 2 connectivity, a pay-as-you-go billing model and several flexible self-service options.”

“CenturyLink was one of our earliest ExpressRoute partners and they continue to strengthen their offerings, including newly added SDN-based Ethernet services,” said Ross Ortega, Microsoft‘s partner program manager for Azure Networking. “We are pleased our enterprise customers now have even more options for accessing the power of Azure in their cloud journey.”

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