Equinix Exchange Becomes Cloud Ecosystem
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