Vantage Data Centers has partnered with Level 3 to provide private network connections to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and other public clouds within its Santa Clara, California, data centers. Data center providers continue to enable direct private links to cloud in order to meet hybrid computing needs of customers.
Direct links to cloud make it easier for customers to integrate public cloud services into enterprise environments. They also offer the benefits of better privacy, security and performance over basic public cloud because they bypass the public Internet. Multi-tenant providers are using direct link capabilities as another feature to entice enterprises to use colocation. While cloud providers might be considered a competitor to colocation, many colocation providers are treating cloud as a compliment.
Vantage has had options for customers to connect to the cloud in the past, but this is the first formal partnership designed to "productize" its cloud connection options. "Cloud is becoming so important to our customers that we've decided to invest in creating a clearly defined cloud connect solution," said Vantage Senior Vice President of Operations Chris Yetman. "We have decided to begin with Santa Clara, as many of our customers and prospects here are running hybrid solutions. As we continue to build out Quincy [Washington], we may begin to offer cloud direct connection products there as well."
The "Wholo" trend
Like other wholesale data center companies, Vantage is evolving beyond its traditional wholesale roots, offering smaller deals and more services to customers. This is an industry-wide trend. The lines between traditional data center provider business models are blurring, giving rise to the term "wholo," a portmanteau of wholesale and colo. Vantage’s roots are in wholesale, but the company recently noted it has been accepting smaller-size deals and becoming increasingly hands-on with customers as a result.
Direct links to cloud are one example of this ongoing evolution. "Smaller customers in the 'wholo' segment are typically earlier in the development of their infrastructure, and many of them started with the cloud and are now moving to a dedicated data center space for the first time," said Yetman. "These customers need options for connecting their data center to their existing cloud infrastructure."
The company says that many of its larger customers also have some workloads in the cloud and need direct-connection options. "The reality is that most companies have some combination of data center and cloud infrastructure and need a performant and cost-effective way to connect the two," said Yetman.
Direct links to cloud providers continue to be one of the most requested features for multi-tenant data center providers. “Many customers have applications that exist partially in their data center and partially in the cloud," said Gred Vernon, senior vice president of sales for Vantage. "This connectivity between Vantage and Level 3 makes it much easier and more cost-effective for businesses to integrate the two.”
Colocation continues to see tremendous growth amongst web-based companies and enterprises. Enterprises that still host on premises are a large potential market.
Many providers are offering direct links to cloud, either through portals that link up customers with other tenants that provide cloud, or with public cloud providers. Equinix, Telx, Interxion, DuPont Fabros and Digital Realty have all expanded their cloud connectivity services.
Vantage’s campuses in Santa Clara and Quincy consist of four enterprise-grade data centers totaling over 100 megawatts of potential capacity.