Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President for Technical Infrastructure at Google, speaks during the Google I/O 2014 conference in San Francisco Stephen Lam/Getty Images
Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President for Technical Infrastructure at Google, speaks during the Google I/O 2014 conference in San Francisco

You Can Now Physically Plug Your Network into Google’s Cloud

New dedicated direct network links to cloud now available at (mostly Equinix) data centers around the world

Google is launching a new cloud connectivity option for customers that want to connect their networks directly to its global cloud.

The new service, called Dedicated Interconnect is different from the previously available Interconnect service (now renamed to Carrier Peering), where colocation provider or carrier customers could buy private links to Google’s cloud, in that it is a direct connection to the cloud. There’s no third-party service provider carrying traffic between the customer’s network and Google’s.

Users of the new service, announced today, also get an SLA from Google, a guarantee by the cloud provider itself that the connection will not go down. You can only get a Google SLA with the new service if you provision redundant connections to its cloud in multiple locations and only once the service comes out of beta.

According to data center companies like Equinix, Digital Realty, and CoreSite, among others, cloud connectivity via private networks is more palatable for companies with applications that need high levels of reliability and performance or have stringent security compliance requirements than connecting to public clouds via the public internet. In the latter case, the customer’s traffic may go through a series of service-provider networks before entering the network of the cloud provider.

Data center providers have been racing to expand their ability to give customers a wide variety of private cloud connectivity options. Executives at Equinix, which has been ahead of others in this race, have been saying consistently on the company’s earnings calls that this is one of the fastest-growing segments of the business.

Both data center providers and cloud providers are competing for enterprise cloud market share. By many accounts, most corporate applications still run in companies’ own data centers, which means lots of potential revenue for those in the business of data center infrastructure outsourcing that’s still untapped.

Providing private connectivity to public clouds is a win-win for data center and cloud providers: it addresses the issues of cloud security and performance while making colocation data centers places where enterprises can buy those cloud cross-connects.

For those who might find a dedicated link to Google Cloud useful, that means even more gravity in places like Equinix data centers around the world. If you want to use the service, your network has to physically meet Google’s network in one of those data centers.

Most of the 35 or so data centers on the list of locations around the globe where you can do that are Equinix facilities, other operators on the list including Infomart, CoreSite, Digital Realty, Global Switch, Interxion, NTT, and a few more.

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