Equinix' Cloud Connectivity Play Helps Re-Architect Enterprise IT
An Equinix data center in Northern Virginia. (Photo: Equinix)

Equinix' Cloud Connectivity Play Helps Re-Architect Enterprise IT

Performance Hub and Cloud Exchange customer numbers have both hit triple digits since launch last year

Two offerings Equinix launched last year, Cloud Exchange and Performance Hub, have hit major milestones.

Cloud Exchange now has close to 100 members and customer adoption of Performance Hub has crossed the triple-digit line. Building on robust connectivity Equinix is known for, both are helping enterprises transform IT.

Enterprises are increasingly looking to hybrid infrastructure that combines regular data center capacity with cloud. Equinix has tapped into this demand by providing the connectivity that kind of infrastructure requires. The company will spend 2015 on deepening its reach into connectivity at the application level, Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi said.

Cloud Exchange provides private and secure direct links to the major clouds and networks out of Equinix data centers. Performance Hub extends companies' corporate IT networks close to major population centers. The company recently acquired professional services firm Nimbo, a company with expertise in transforming enterprise IT from legacy to modern infrastructure.

“People are looking for direct access to cloud with a single port,” said Tarazi. “They want automation. They need it instantly.The third thing they want is to go down to the application level of performance. For the rest of 2015, we’ll build deeper integration at the application level, providing guaranteed performance to Office 365, Google, Cisco, IBM and others.”

Performance Hub is an attractive entry point into the Equinix model. “We had a lot of people sign up [for Performance Hub],” said Tarazi. “It’s been very popular because it solves key issues like [updating] the backbone with significant capacity. It lowers the cost 40 percent or so in most cases.”

Cloud Exchange and Performance Hub are proving to be very complementary for early customers. “The two use cases are starting to come together for the benefit of customer,” he said. “If they’re building Performance Hub, they link directly to Cloud Exchange. We see customers not only trying to build their backbone into our data centers, but connecting to hybrid infrastructure through Equinix.”

One example is CDM Smith, a global consulting, engineering, and construction company, which chose Equinix to help transform its network architecture and leverage a hybrid cloud model. The company deployed Performance Hub at nine key locations around the globe and configured high-performance interconnection to support real-time collaboration among its 160 offices. It also connected to Cloud Exchange to transition to a hybrid cloud environment, including Microsoft Azure.

Another example is HarperCollins Publishers, a division of the News Corp., which is a resident at Equinix’ London IBX. It connected to Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute through the Equinix Cloud Exchange.

Cloud Exchange finished 2014 in 19 of the biggest global markets. Microsoft Azure is offered in 16 markets, AWS is in eight markets, Google's cloud is in 15, Cisco's in 16, and IBM's in nine markets.

“We’ll focus our energy on these major cloud providers who are innovating like crazy,” said Tarazi. “We’ve done a good job staying close to them when it comes to innovation. People want simplicity, automation, orchestrators to work seamlessly in our data centers. No longer do people have to worry about integration.”

Cloud Exchange recently became more dynamic through work with Apigee. An API acts as the self-service mechanism so that customers can hook in to a multitude of cloud providers within the exchange automatically, instead of a physical cross-connect.

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