Interconnection services can bolster cloud connectivity

Cloud providers can now offer interconnection services to customers via the new interconnection services suite from Telx.

Lowering latency and ensuring the security of data is mission-critical for cloud providers. By providing a wide range of interconnection services, cloud providers can support the needs of the different business models and infrastructures of their customers.

A cloud provider should strive to offer cloud connectivity options to its customers by way of public and private exchanges, said Tom Nolle, president of CIMI Corp.

Telx, a colocation hosting provider, has announced its Connect Portfolio, a suite of scalable cloud interconnection services. These services will enable enterprises to establish colocation infrastructures -- including data center, IT, cloud, or point-of-presence (POP) infrastructures -- as well as connectivity in all 17 of Telx’s Cloud Connection Centers located throughout the U.S.

Cloud providers will now have the ability to cover all aspects of interconnect, said Lauren Robinette, principal analyst at ACG Research. “I think [the Connect Portfolio] lends itself well to services provided by the cloud provider as interconnect becomes so important in reducing latency and securing data for their customers,” she said. 

With this portfolio of services, enterprises will have the ability to create, distribute, store and exchange data across public and private networks and will be able to adapt to different bandwidth needs, said Christopher Eldredge, general manager of Ethernet exchange and interconnection products at Telx.

Telx has divided the interconnection services of its Connect Portfolio into four quadrants -- IP Connect for public clouds, Network Connect for hybrid clouds, and Dynamic Connect and Direct Connect for private clouds. “In a nutshell, cloud providers have applications sitting on our servers and the applications have to be accessed somehow. That’s why we have created different connection portfolios.... We wanted to make sure we had a solution for every customer,” Eldredge said.

Cloud applications on the rise, interconnection services grow

If cloud providers can manage private connections for their customers between Telx data centers, enterprise customers will receive benefits in the form of lower latency and greater security for their transactions, said Marshall Bartoszek, senior analyst at ACG Research.

“If cloud providers can provide an on-ramp through an alternative data center and guarantee the speed of the transaction, that will be a huge benefit to their customers,” he said. “And if the cloud provider could guarantee the transaction time via their private connection, it would be a big benefit as opposed to a long-distance Internet connection where the connectivity could be variable.”

The ability to connect one enterprise to another enterprise will also add more value for cloud providers. By providing private exchanges for companies with their cloud infrastructure located in the same data center, direct connections between different companies can be established.

“With this portfolio, companies can have direct connections between their own facilities, as well as having the option to connect with other companies in order to do business,” Bartoszek said. 

An online community for customer support -- CBX Online -- accompanies the connection offerings in the portfolio, Telx’s Eldredge said.

CBX Online allows for companies that connect through Telx to select other companies to directly connect to for various business operations. “It’s really the hidden gem of the Connect portfolio,” Bartoszek said. “It’s a nice way to do business-to-business transactions directly and not having to worry about going through public Internet. This will help with lowering latency and increasing security.” 

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The Telx portfolio represents one way in which companies will offer cloud service models, said CIMI Corp’s Nolle. “Telx is offering the ability to interconnect clouds, and it’s a clever idea, but there are certainly other companies talking about interconnection of cloud-based services,” he said.

Cloud connections -- whether public or private -- are different than connections built for typical communications. This is particularly true for the connection of data centers, Nolle said.

“If a company is going to offer interconnection [services] and it’s going to be more than just wiring together two networks together that happen to be supporting a cloud, they must consider the underlying difference between cloud traffic and non-cloud traffic,” he said. 

Telx’s take on cloud federation is a business model focused on management of a hybrid cloud environment, Nolle said. “What this portfolio offers is cloud hosting centers that will allow the cloud provider to offer continuity of performance and services, despite geography.”

As enterprises begin to explore more cloud models for their businesses -- most likely starting with the private or hybrid cloud stage -- cloud federation will become more popular for cloud providers to offer.

“I think the idea of cloud federation is going to be more and more popular as we get more homogenous application needs from customers,” ACG’s Robinette said. 

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Gina Narcisi, News Writer


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