Cloud Strategies

VMware Ties Into Equinix Cloud Connections

Equinix and VMware today announced an agreement that will offer direct private access to vCloud Air via the Equinix Platform. That access will come in two forms: direct private connections and the Equinix Cloud Exchange. (See Equinix Adds VMWare Cloud Access.)

For VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW), this is the latest in a series of moves to beef up its hybrid cloud strategy, as it becomes obvious that enterprises want to be able to have some cloud-based workloads running on public clouds such as Amazon Web Services Inc. and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) Softlayer, while others run on private cloud infrastructure, on the enterprise premises or colocated in places such as Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) data centers. Recently VMware has announced hybrid cloud offerings with both AWS and IBM Softlayer. (See Enemies No More: Amazon & VMware Partner on Cloud.)

The vCloud Air service allows VMware customers to burst off their Vsphere environments into public cloud resources, also operated by VMware. With the recent agreements, those customers can now also burst into the AWS and Softlayer public clouds. The agreement with Equinix puts its Cloud Exchange potentially in the middle of all those connections.

The move boost Equinix's appeal as the place where enterprises -- many of which are already running VMWare virtualization capabilities and its software stack in their IT infrastructure -- can seek a smooth migration to the hybrid cloud world they want, notes Scott Mills, cloud services director at Equinix. That's a significant advantage for the data center company in its more recent push to earn enterprise business and to battle competitors such as Digital Realty (See Digital Realty Targets Equinix With Service Exchange.)

"We think it helps underscore that Equinix is the ideal platform for any VMware-powered enterprise to deploy and manage a private or hybrid environment," he states. "We allow them the ability to use our interconnection platform to connect to VMWare and VCloud Air -- and to VMWare resources in the form of IBM Softlayer or now, in the form of AWS."

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As Mills adds, however, the fact that many other cloud providers are reachable through either the Equinix Cloud Exchange or a direct fiber cross-connect is already critical to the hybrid cloud strategy his company sells to enterprises. To data, Equinix Cloud Exchange connects to AWS, IBM Softlayer, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Azure and Office 365, Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) Cloud and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Cloud.

But strategically, adding VMware is a boost because of the seamless migration path the two companies can offer to businesses already working in a VMware environment.

The direct access to vCloud Air inside the Equinix data center will let VMware customers combine their vSphere premises-based environments with the public cloud environments, while still delivering the control, latency and security that enterprises need, Mills notes.

The Equinix Cloud Exchange will provide those connections where it is operating, in Equinix facilities in London, Silicon Valley and Washington DC and Direct Connect will be available in those facilities and in Frankfurt and New York.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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