Cloud Services

Equinix Exchange Becomes Cloud Ecosystem

MUNICH -- Ethernet Europe 2012 -- Cloud service delivery is the fastest growing segment of public peering services and represents major new opportunities for Ethernet exchanges because of the latter's ability to provide easier access to massive numbers of end points.

Exchanges represent a new cloud ecosystem, Jim Poole, general manager of global networks and mobility for Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), told the Ethernet Europe audience here on Tuesday.

"Where does the end-user live for cloud services? Pretty much anywhere," Poole said. "You would need an arbitrarily large number of private network partners to reach all end points."

That's why he expects that the service providers that are busily beefing up their data centers to deliver cloud services will also bulk up their Ethernet networks and join exchanges in larger numbers, as Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) did today. (See DT Joins Equinix Ethernet Exchange.)

It's also why Amazon Web Services Inc. made its Direct Connect service available in the Equinix International Business Exchange data centers in Tokyo and Singapore in January -- namely, to replace best-effort Internet access to cloud services with more reliable private network connections. By putting cloud services into the exchange itself, AWS has access to more connection possibilities that are also more more reliable than single-homed connections.

Meeting cloud service requirements will require new elasticity from Ethernet services to deliver on-demand bandwidth that can be throttled up and down, Poole added. Equinix is currently trialing metro-to-metro "network-as-a-service" capabilities with four of its carrier partners to enable predictable pricing and cost of bandwidth that can be delivered on short-contract terms with bandwidth throttling capabilities via simple, scalable virtual circuits. The NaaS would provide redundancy for security and recovery of data.

Tailoring Ethernet services to the cloud will have a big payoff for service providers, Poole said. As enterprises reduce their IT hardware costs by moving more of their infrastructure to the cloud, they redeploy that capital by investing in more distribution networks. He cited the example of financial traders and banks that have concentrated their data at facilities in Seacaucus, N.J. and now devote 80 percent of their budget to network services.

He expects both carriers and enterprise customers to look to exchanges as the natural access point to a cloud ecosystem because of the direct access to public cloud service providers. Those providers are also realizing that enterprises currently connect their IT resources via private WANs and are unlikely to move that infrastructure to the Internet to access cloud services. Exchanges represent the best way to access the broadest possible variety of private network connections.

"This is the intersection of Ethernet and the cloud," Poole said. "Choice and elasticity are the name of the game."

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

Flook 12/5/2012 | 5:36:15 PM
re: Equinix Exchange Becomes Cloud Ecosystem

Good story, because I'd been wondering what the impact of cloud services would be on Ethernet/Internet exchanges. It will be interesting to see how they evolve in a "cloudy" world.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:36:13 PM
re: Equinix Exchange Becomes Cloud Ecosystem

I hear that data center providers are starting to become their own Internet exchanges for their tenant customers. The idea, I think, is that you can connect to a data center and you'll gain access to all the other data center customers as opposed to having to interconnect to each one.

This sounds somewhat similar and it seems to make sense as no one carrier has control over the whole agenda.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:36:10 PM
re: Equinix Exchange Becomes Cloud Ecosystem


You can gain access to other customers, other cages you own and they will be bandwidth brokers for you.

The thing I think we need to be careful with in these stories is the Cloud definition.  Is stuff on a private network at remote data centers really "The Cloud"?



joanengebretson 12/5/2012 | 5:35:55 PM
re: Equinix Exchange Becomes Cloud Ecosystem

What Equinix is describing is a lot like what happened with Internet peering 15 to 20 years ago. Instead of exchanging traffic at separate peering locations, Internet service providers started exchanging traffic at data centers where a lot of content providers were hosted, thereby giving better performance to the content providers and their customers.

It's logical that Ethernet interconnection would follow a similar development path, only in this case the cloud providers are playing the role that the content providers did previously.

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