The proximity of Equinix facilities to public cloud providers is helping enterprise organizations overcome traditional cloud barriers

When I first learned about Equinix about a year ago, I thought their business model was to build their hosting facilities next to the cloud providers. I later learned that I had it backward: the cloud providers had built their facilities next to Equinix.

Real estate agents will tell you it’s all about, “Location, Location, Location.” I think that in the case of Equinix, it should be amended to “Location, Location, Multicloud!”  Being located next-door to strategic cloud providers has definite advantages, and having unparalleled connectivity options into the cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) providers is priceless.

Equinix owns and operates a growing number of hosting facilities strategically located around the world at key Telecommunications carrier and Internet access locations. These facilities give competing carriers a neutral location to offer services and connect with each other.

Equinix customers can rapidly connect to a robust catalog of SaaS and cloud service providers. Additionally, as the number of Equinix customers grow, customers have a greater chance of connecting with business partners within the Equinix network.

But one can buy connectivity in many flavors, so what makes Equinix connectivity special?

To answer that, we must look at the business challenges that can be solved with the right kind of connectivity.

Public Cloud Adoption Plans

Several years back, many organizations instituted public cloud-first initiatives. They began to sort out applications that could or couldn’t (at least not easily) be moved to the cloud. Apps began to be moved, and developers began to create and innovate with extensive toolsets available from the cloud providers.

Despite some initial success, many of the initiatives stalled. Cost, performance, bandwidth, security and access became barriers to execution. Application refactoring, latency issues and regulatory concerns slowed or stopped forward momentum.

Organizations discovered that many new applications deployed in the public cloud needed access to legacy data sources and applications that couldn’t be moved into the cloud. The distance between the cloud and the legacy apps became a challenge.

We learned that moving legacy applications and data sources as close to the cloud as possible needs to be a high priority. This is where Equinix fits in.

Not only does Equinix offer data center locations in close proximity to the public clouds, but they also provide cost-efficient connectivity to those cloud providers at speeds that resemble local data center Ethernet.

Cloud-native applications and applications that were previously migrated to the public cloud benefit from data proximity and can access legacy data sources at speeds necessary to restore performance and end-user experience.

The partnership between Equinix and WWT allows us to provide architectures and services that can help customers renew and resume their cloud initiatives. Together we offer compelling solutions that address a growing list of business challenges which can accelerate cloud adoption plans.

Path Optimization

Do you know how many SaaS applications your organization uses today? Office365? Salesforce? ServiceNow? Box? How much of your end-user bandwidth is being directed to sites hosted outside your corporate data center?

For years, corporate data center(s) have been the hub of the enterprise network and have hosted applications that serve the workforce and end users. Traffic from remote/branch locations is directed back to the corporate data center over secure private connections, and from there, Internet bound traffic is routed out a protected Internet link.

As network traffic is increasingly directed toward cloud-based applications, traditional data center designs may fall short on performance.

Consider a design where the hub of the network is located in the middle of the major SaaS and cloud providers that end users are accessing. Now imagine you can deliver traffic directly to those providers over dedicated connections rather than a best-effort Internet pipe.

Equinix Cloud Exchange gives you access to redundant, dedicated bandwidth to major cloud and SaaS providers from your Equinix rack in the form of a cross-connect. This connection allows your organization to deliver traffic over the most optimal path with predictable performance. An economic impact assessment can help determine the value of setting up hubs like this in strategic locations around the globe.

Network designs that involve shifting the location of the hub also require a fresh look at the branch connectivity options.

Technologies such as SD-WAN and carrier-based virtual private network services can deliver branch connectivity out of an Equinix facility at a cost savings compared to bringing those connections back to your corporate data center.

Cross-connection also has a major security benefit: Internet firewall rules become less complex to manage. Instead of trying to collapse everything into one Internet edge firewall, you can deploy connection-specific rules to each cross-connection.

Data Sovereignty and Cloud Security

Some analysts say that public cloud providers are offering safe environments for sensitive data and enabling innovative security services. If you’re the one who is charged with protecting your organization’s data, security management in the public cloud likely leaves you feeling more than a little uneasy.

Equinix offers options for multicloud data management and security. Similar to the proximity-based approach for legacy applications, consider storing your data in a location where it can be accessible to the elastic compute resources offered by cloud providers.  Your vital data still resides on your network, you retain control of the data and systems that host it, while surrounding it with the security infrastructure that your current operational models are designed to support.

You Can’t Beat the Location

I believe that executing a multicloud strategy all comes down to location. Equinix’s most unique value offering is proximity. This includes proximity for the data, applications and services that run your organization.

This past year we’ve been working with the solution architects at Equinix to create reference architectures that help our customers recognize the benefits of using Equinix as a foundation for their journey to the cloud, or rather clouds.

If you’ve faced off against some of the cloud challenges I’ve discussed, I’d welcome the opportunity to talk to you about your unique business challenges.

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