Data Center Interconnect

Verizon Paves Fast Lane to Equinix Data Centers

Verizon is launching a software-defined interconnect service to help the carrier's enterprise customers connect to assets in Equinix colocation data centers, Verizon said Monday. The goal is to reduce the time it takes to configure connections to Equinix data centers to minutes.

As enterprises cut costs by shutting down data centers, they're moving workloads into colocation facilities such as those run by Equinix. Verizon's Software Defined Interconnect (SDI) service is designed to provide fast, reliable connectivity to those assets, which can be configured quickly by enterprises using a Verizon tool called the Dynamic Network Manager, to suit changing needs.

By tapping into the Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX) Fabric, which enables connections between the data center operator's international facilities, SDI enables enterprises to easily hook up to 115 Equinix International Business Exchanges worldwide, Verizon says.

As you'd expect, Verizon's pitch for SDI focuses on simplicity and efficiency. The operator claims its new service provides a faster, more flexible alternative to traditional interconnectivity, which requires costly buildouts, long lead times, complex provisioning and often truck rolls: APIs are used to automate connections and, often, reduce costs, boasts Verizon.

SDI is based on a preceding service, Secure Cloud Interconnect, which was designed to provide enterprises with flexible, rapid, automated connectivity to public cloud services. SDI is designed to provide the same benefits as Secure Cloud Interconnect, but for customer workloads not running on public clouds, Vickie Lonker, Verizon VP global product management, tells Light Reading.

The new offer is underpinned by Verizon's own private IP network, which Lonker says gives customers the advantage of a secure option with guaranteed quality of service, without having to rely on best effort to connect to resources.

"We want to provide secure solutions to customers that allow them to connect to resources wherever the resources are globally," Lonker says.

SDI is an incremental addition to Verizon's overall strategy of interconnecting with other service providers to meet customer needs, as well as virtualizing its network, says Brian Washburn, an analyst at Ovum (a sister organization to Light Reading).

"Everything can be dynamic, everything can be made pay-as-you-go, everything can be controlled as a series of virtual resources to push them around the network as you need it, when you need it," Washburn says.

For Equinix, the Verizon deal builds its gravitational pull. "It pulls in assets and just connects as many things to other things as possible. It is a virtuous circle. The more things they get into their data centers, the more resources they have there, that pulls in more companies to connect to the resources," Washburn says. Equinix is standardizing its APIs to make interconnections easily.

SDI is similar to CenturyLink Dynamic Connections, which connects enterprises directly to public cloud services. And telcos are building interconnects with each other; for example, AT&T with Colt. "I expect we'll see more of this sort of automation taking advantage of Equinix APIs," Washburn says.

And Microsoft provides a virtual WAN service to connect enterprises to Azure. "It's a different story, but it falls into the broader category of automation between network operators and cloud services," Washburn says.

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— Mitch Wagner Visit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on TwitterJoin my Facebook GroupRead my blog: Things Mitch Wagner Saw Executive Editor, Light Reading

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