Equinix, the operator of communication hub data centers, says it has added two more Direct Connect locations, Dallas and London, to provide high-speed, private-line access to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud.
Equinix operates communications-intensive data centers near major retail and trading cities. Enterprise customers can move data or a workload to an Equinix data center over their private wide area network, then get shunted aboard a 10 Gbps fiber-optic line that carries the workload to AWS.
The connection is considered more secure than the public Internet, and the speed surpasses the 4 Gbps that might typically be achieved through VPN over the Internet. As enterprises adopt more frequent use of the cloud, it's likely they'll rely on private-line connections for sensitive data and workloads.
In addition to Dallas and London, Equinix also has AWS Direct Connect facilities available in three other North American locations (Seattle, Santa Clara, and Washington, D.C.), and others in Frankfurt, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Osaka.
[Want to learn more about how Amazon established Direct Connect? See Amazon Expands Private Cloud-like Options.]
Adding Dallas to the list of its sites that provide AWS Direct Connect allows the Amazon/Equinix combination to serve a region that it had previously not been well-positioned to reach. The greater the distance to a Direct Connect service, the less likely enterprise customers are to use it, since they must establish their own long distance, private line connection, a built-in expense. If they opt to use the public Internet, that reduces the security value of getting a private line connection at a later stage in their workload's trip.
Likewise, adding London as a site supplying AWS Direct Connect will be a boon to European customers seeking to use Amazon. Users in the UK or across the English Channel could previously reach Amazon's Dublin data center via a "tether," or link, supplied by Equinix in London. But the link fell short of full Direct Connect service, which includes a choice of 1 Gbps or 10 Gbps speeds.
Equinix has been building out auxiliary services to its direct links to Amazon. One is the Direct Connect Converged Infrastructure bundle, or deployment service, that links to a customer's compute and storage systems to help prepare a workload for deployment on Amazon as it passes through the Equinix hub.
Equinix Cloud Exchange assigns an Equinix customer one port through which he may self-provision links to a cloud of choice in addition to, or in place of, Amazon.
Equinix executives said in a November 23 blog post that such direct, private line interconnections between an enterprise and Amazon, or from one enterprise to another, make up a familiar pattern in its current business. The company recently surveyed 1,000 IT decision-makers worldwide for its Enterprise of the Future report and found that 84% of respondents intend to employ direct infrastructure links with other enterprises by 2017.
The Amazon Direct Connect service was first established in 2011 for Equinix's US East Coast data center complex in Ashburn, Va., and it has slowly expanded since that beginning.
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