A new member has joined Equinix’s Cloud Exchange, and its name is Google Cloud Platform. Direct network links to Google’s public cloud are now available out of Equinix data centers in 15 markets, covering nearly all Equinix Cloud Exchange markets worldwide.
Equinix is one of the first partners to offer private, direct links to Google’s public cloud, offering enterprises a high performance, secure connection that bypasses the public Internet. Google's is last of the big three public clouds to join the exchange, the other two being Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.
The partnership between Equinix and Google is an enterprise cloud play. Such connectivity services make colo providers' data centers more attractive for enterprises that are looking to stand up hybrid environments that combine dedicated servers and public cloud. The cloud providers benefit by making their offerings more palatable for security-conscious enterprise customers.
“We spent a lot of time early on investing in intellectual property in doing it right and doing it global,” said Chris Sharp, vice president of cloud innovation. “Google’s endorsement is absolutely critical.”
Equinix will offer up to 10Gb connection to Google cloud services and will manage multiple IP addressing methods for customers, whether customer-provided, LAN addressing and/or Google-provided IP addressing.
Direct links to Google’s cloud is launching in 15 initial Equinix markets. The markets are Amsterdam, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. The two markets not announced but expected are Sydney and Toronto.
Direct links to Google's cloud out of Equinix data centers launching now:
- Hong Kong
- Los Angeles
- New York
- Silicon Valley
- Washington D.C.
Locations expected to be added to the list in the near future:
Enterprises are increasingly employing a multi-cloud strategy as they figure out what workloads work best for what clouds. The Cloud Exchange is young, but Equinix is already seeing the multi-cloud trend.
The first group of Equinix customers to use direct links to public clouds combined private clouds sitting on their servers in colocation data centers with a single public cloud provider like AWS. Now customers are increasingly using multiple public clouds in addition to dedicated servers of their own.
“Each of these clouds have different types of customers and customer profiles,” said Sharp. “They all have feature functionality tuned to specific applications.”
“We can remove barriers around connectivity in a dynamic manner,” he said. “The Cloud Exchange removes some of the complexity of multi-cloud. There’s still the hybrid private and public appeal, but as customers dig into public cloud offerings, to have access to multi-cloud is more critical.”
Combination of private connectivity services to public clouds and the high volume of network provider connectivity in Equinix data centers make them very attractive for enterprises. Other colo providers, such as Telx and CoreSite in the U.S., or Interxion and TelecityGroup in Europe, have similar models, but none has the geographic scale and the volume of customers the Redwood City, California-based giant has.
On the company's latest earnings call, Equinix execs said connectivity services were now its fastest growing business in terms of revenue, and private links to public cloud was the fastest growing connectivity segment.
Enterprises want multiple clouds and willing to spend the money
A recent survey, conducted by Dimensional Research, confirmed the multi-cloud trend and revealed that enterprises are now spending more on cloud. Nearly 80 percent of respondents among global enterprise IT leaders said they planned on implementing multi-cloud architectures in the coming year.
Interconnected colocation data center environments offering direct connections to multiple clouds are high on the enterprise cloud want list.
About three-fourths of respondents are budgeting for a multi-cloud migration strategy, and eighty-five percent said they strongly value direct connections to public clouds.
Driving the desire for private links is security -- the top driver for 85 percent of respondents. This figure illustrates that enterprises are still weary of security in the public cloud, and that security concerns easily overshadow concerns about performance and reliability.
Cloud surveys used to be about whether or not an enterprise was considering cloud to begin with. Now 91 percent of respondents said new cloud based offerings will be deployed in their organization over the next 12 months. Half said new cloud-based apps will be deployed at a colocation provider.
With more than 90 respondents saying they would deploy some kind of a cloud-based offering in the next 12 months, cloud surveys are no longer about whether or not enterprises are considering cloud as a concept. According to Half, most new cloud-based apps will be deployed at a colocation data center, which makes for a secure near future for a company like Equinix.
Most important of all, the budget for cloud is increasing. About 75 percent of respondents expect a larger budget in 2015 for cloud services than they do now.
“What surprised us about this survey is how quickly multi-cloud strategies are becoming the norm worldwide,” said Ihab Tarazi, CTO of Equinix. “Businesses have discovered that colocation can provide many benefits, including the ability to connect securely to multiple clouds. In the future, we expect these companies will be able to point to quantifiable ROI as a result of these multi-cloud initiatives.”