Equinix Opens Faster Pipeline To AWS Deployments - InformationWeek

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Equinix Opens Faster Pipeline To AWS Deployments

Equinix is offering bundled tools and services to make it easier to use an Equinix hub as a way station on the road to AWS.

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Equinix data centers are already well-established communication hubs for workloads on their way to the cloud. Now Equinix is offering deployment tools and services that make it easier for enterprises to use Equinix hubs as relay stations for enterprise hybrid cloud operations.

As Amazon Web Services' annual ReInvent event gets underway in Las Vegas this week, Equinix announced on Oct. 6 that it is offering new deployment services to speed an Amazon customer's workload into the cloud: the AWS Direct Connect Converged Infrastructure bundle and the Equinix Cloud Exchange enablement service.

Equinix is almost uniquely positioned to do this.

Its data centers provide Amazon Direct Connect service, the high-speed, fiber-optic line between an Equinix facility and an Amazon data center, in nine major markets. Another service, the Equinix Cloud Exchange, a virtualized network management system where a customer can be assigned a port and route its workloads through it to different clouds, is available at 21 Equinix data center hubs.

The company's Converged Infrastructure bundles give customers the chance to get their workloads more thoroughly ready for migration to the Amazon cloud. The bundles work with their familiar on-premises storage and network management tools to assign their workloads storage and network configurations that make them ready for deployment in the cloud as they're forwarded by the Equinix hub.

(Image: matdesign24/iStockphoto)

(Image: matdesign24/iStockphoto)

In addition, Equinix is providing tools in the Converged Infrastructure from its acquisition last January of migration-services company Nimbo.

One Nimbo tool can automatically assess the cloud-readiness of a particular enterprise workload while it's still on-premises, said Greg Adgate, vice president of global partnerships and alliances for Equinix. Other tools help to give the on-premises enterprise workload the identity management and network and storage settings it will need to function properly in Amazon's EC2. Another Nimbo service will seek to optimize the workload to allow it to scale and keep it provisioned with right-sized resources.

"The bundle does some of the routing and configuration stuff that companies have stumbled with in the past" as they sought to move a legacy system into the cloud, Adgate said.

If effect, Adgate said, the bundles increase the role that Equinix can play as companies seek to engage in more hybrid cloud computing, giving legacy systems on-premises a counterpart in the cloud or a set of services they're using there.

For example, Adgate said, a company could create a copy of a key system on-premises and store it as an Amazon Machine Image in EC2, while the data the company needs is replicated to an Equinix data center. If the system fails on-premises, it's ready to be called up out of storage on AWS and the data moved over a 10-Gbs Direct Connect fiber optic line. Under some circumstances, the customer might even want to select a specific Amazon data center, depending on where most of the application's traffic comes from.

Equinix supplies Direct Connect service to Amazon's EC2 from nine hubs in Seattle, Silicon Valley,  D.C./Northern Virginia, Frankfort, London, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Osaka.

[Want to learn more about Equinix Cloud Exchange? See Equinix Cloud Exchanges: Private Access To Public Clouds.]

In addition to Nimbo tools and services, the bundles also include tools and services oriented toward use with Amazon workloads from Cisco Intercloud Fabric and NetApp's NPS storage system capability.

In the past, said Adgate, the cloud workload has typically been a development and test type of task. As companies begin moving more enterprise applications and production workloads to the cloud, they need additional ways of tapping Amazon services and ensuring that systems are secured and protected against downtime.

They need help in deciding "what to do, how to do it, and how to manage it after you've done it," Adgate said.

Equinix Cloud Exchange is available in 21 markets, Equinix officials said: Amsterdam, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Osaka, Paris, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Washington D.C., and Zurich.

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive ... View Full Bio

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Charlie Babcock
Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
10/7/2015 | 3:32:11 PM
Equinix is in a unique position with other providers as well
I said Equinix is in "an almost unique position" to aid deployments onto Amazon Web Services, but it's not limited to Amazon. It's in a roughly similar position with other key providers, since it's providing their version of high speed, private line hook up as well. For example, Equinix supplies Express Route to Microsoft Azure from locations in 16 markets. It provides private line access to Google Cloud Platform from 16 markets as well, and to IBM SoftLayer from nine markets. Equinix didn't bring up the possibility of doing so but the prospect shouldn't be ruled out. It's just a matter of whatever Equinix does with cloud providers, it tends to do it first with Amazon.
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