SoftLayer, an IBM company, announced a new service that provides a private link from a customer's existing IT infrastructure to compute resources on SoftLayer's cloud platform.
Using the service, called Direct Link, customers can privately connect to SoftLayer's infrastructure from their own data centers and offices or from colocation facilities. They have to go through one of the colocation providers SoftLayer has partnered with: Equinix, Telx, CoreSite, Terremark, Pacnet, Interxion and TelecityGroup. There are 18 Direct Link network Points of Presence in non-SoftLayer data centers around the world.
A dedicated network connection to a cloud service provider offers higher performance and better security than connecting through the public Internet. Other cloud infrastructure service providers, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, have made similar deals with colocation companies.
Private connections to third-party services make cloud more digestible for the enterprise market. Colocation companies benefit because hosting PoPs for cloud providers makes their facilities more attractive to enterprise customers.
Marc Jones, vice president of product innovation at SoftLayer, said the service has been available to select customers for several months. "This is the official 'productization' of the service," he said. "The offering is suitable for clients that want both bare metal and virtual instances as part of their cloud portfolio. Also, IBM's large enterprise install base has been requesting this service. It builds out our enterprise portfolio of services."
Direct Link benefits include:
- Higher network performance consistency and predictability
- Streamlined and accelerated workload and data migration
- Improved data and operational security.
“Services like Direct Link afford customers a broader range of options as they explore how to best leverage hybrid cloud,” IDC analyst Brad Casemore said. “Enterprises welcome choice and alternatives, and direct high-speed access can accommodate various hybrid workloads, while also offering use cases for backup, disaster recovery and business continuity.”
Microsoft has been busy adding private Azure links globally, most recently across Telecity’s European infrastructure. AWS Direct Connect was launched in 2011 in partnership with Equinix and has been expanding since.
Direct Link is immediately available to all SoftLayer customers, with pricing starting at $147 per month for 1 Gbps and $997 per month for 10 Gbps. Customers will not be charged for bandwidth usage.