By Jeffrey Burt
Colocation provider Equinix is offering faster direct connections to Amazon Web Services with the aim of making it easier for customers to embrace the hybrid cloud.
Equinix already had offered a private connection into the AWS cloud via its Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric) connectivity platform through AWS’ Direct Connect program, but only at speeds up to 500 Mb/s, according to Kaushik Joshi, the company’s global managing director of strategic alliances.
Now enterprises will be able to leverage hosted connections of 1, 2, 5 and 10 Gb/s AWS Direct Connect Hosted Connections, giving them higher capacities and lower latencies in their private cloud connections for their mission-critical applications. The network connection between an on-premises environment like Equinix and an AWS virtual private cloud can be established automatically.
“AWS Direct Connect partners are now able to programmatically automate the network connection between an enterprise’s on-premises environment, such as Equinix, to their AWS virtual private cloud environment,” Joshi told Channel Futures.
There are myriad advantages for customers who want to migrate workloads to AWS as part of a hybrid-cloud environment, he said. Some use cases include running high-bandwidth applications, using AWS tools for database workloads, such as Oracle and Microsoft SQL, migrating on-premises workloads like VMware and SAP HANA to the cloud, creating business continuity and disaster recovery policies – with primary environments in the colocation facility and backups in the cloud – and creating a hybrid cloud and multicloud architecture for mission-critical applications.
Interconnections between cloud providers, enterprises and IT providers are becoming increasingly important as companies look to move existing workloads to third-party cloud platforms and embrace new digital services, Equinix noted. According to the company’s Global Interconnection Index Volume 2, interconnections between the three entities are expected to grow 98% a year through 2021.
“Enterprise businesses are increasingly looking to leverage hybrid, multicloud architectures for greater scale and agility, as well as to capitalize on the opportunities offered by digital ecosystems,” Joshi said, adding that the company’s study found that “the rapid growth in direct Interconnection between enterprises and cloud providers suggests that the transition away from centralized, on-premises IT architectures is accelerating.”
This isn’t good for traditional resellers, but for channel partners that can be trusted IT providers able to offer dependable advice, experience, innovated solutions and technical expertise, the changing IT environment can be a boon, he said.
Equinix has been offering AWS Direct Connect in North America since 2011, expanding the availability in eight markets on four continents three years later. The Equinix Interconnection Platform now delivers global access to AWS Direct Connect in 27 markets, Joshi said.
Other cloud vendors also are putting a greater emphasis on network connectivity. At its Inspire 2019 show earlier this month, Azure officials introduced the Microsoft Azure Networking MSP Program to make it easier for partners and customers to plug into the public cloud. The program, which counts Equinix among its partners, is part of a larger effort by Azure to improve connectivity into their environments.
Connectivity has become increasingly important as more enterprises adopt hybrid cloud and multicloud strategies and move mission-critical workloads into the cloud. For years organizations were reluctant to do this, concerned about security, reliability, connectivity and availability; however, a report by Dell Technologies’ Virtustream cloud services business and Forrester Research analysts released in May found that the growing use of hybrid and multiclouds is making it easier for enterprises to find the right cloud environment for running their key applications.
As a colocation provider, fast and secure connectivity to multiple clouds is important for Equinix. The company offers its Platform Equinix digital edge platform. Earlier this year, the company enhanced it with expanded connectivity service through the ECX Fabric software-defined network interconnection platform. With ECX Fabric, customers can use Platform Equinix to interconnect their edge environments to clouds, other networks and business partners.
They also can create direct network connections between data centers in any ECX Fabric-enabled markets, Joshi said.
Equinix earlier this week formed a partnership with Verizon through which the carrier can connect its new Software-Defined Interconnect (SDI) service to customers via any of Equinix’s 115 International Business Exchange data centers.