To Be or Not To Be: The Hybrid Hosting Model

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By Chris Sharp

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This week, Equinix announced the availability of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect in some strategic metros within Asia Pacific.

In short, this announcement means customers leveraging Platform Equinix across the globe now have more choices where they can directly connect to the Amazon cloud.

Important?

Yes.

Why?

Because growing numbers of customers are looking at their cloud deployments today and identifying an inflection point: when they get to a certain size, not all workloads should be placed inside of the cloud.

The solution?

Deploy a hybrid environment.

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Hybrid Environment

What this means is more and more businesses want the flexibility to have their own infrastructure as well as cloud infrastructure, and leverage those together seamlessly.

Equinix is enabling these best-of-breed deployments. Now, customers can come into an Equinix facility and use their own infrastructure in combination with the cloud for different types of research and development (R&D) but also leverage that elasticity for different types of workloads.

One of the key things Equinix is looking to solve with this latest AWS Direct Connect offering is how to most effectively deal with big data. We have a lot of customers today that are creating a tremendous amount of data, and they don’t really know how to manage that appropriately.

This hybrid environment offers a logical place where you can solve a lot of those big data issues and not have to incur all the costs of the cloud.

You can throw your drupal deployments or no sequel deployments inside of Equinix, and have that interact seamlessly with your cloud deployment inside of Amazon Web Services.

So we see these two key issues – big data and associated costs – being solved with this latest offering.
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Security, Latency, and Reliability

Other common adoption barriers include latency, reliability, and security.

Again, the AWS cloud is engineered to significantly improve all three.

It’s one of the most secure ways in accessing the cloud.

Just like a handshake between two people, AWS Direct Connect and Equinix offer a direct private network connection to the AWS cloud. You can touch the cloud, leverage it, and still gain all the OPEX and CAPEX improvements.

Reliability is tops. Cross connects inside Equinix’s IBXs operate at six nines of uptime (99.9999% availability). They’re highly, highly reliable and this also helps minimize any latency issues.>>>>

What Types of Companies Use Hybrid Environments?

Equinix has a number of customers running hybrids and let me share some examples with you.

Gaming

Gaming companies may roll out a new product but don’t know what the demand is going to be on day one.

As a company rolls out a game, it might be wildly successful and they can use the cloud for that. Once they start to understand a baseline of customers they have to support, they can then build that infrastructure inside of a facility like Equinix, leverage the cloud for those peak usage periods going forward, and be able to manage that baseline which is much more cost effective.

These hybrid environments, seen across all types of industries, are among those best-of-breed architectures being built today. The cloud has tremendous advantages because of the endless amount of resources it has.

But there’s also a lot of cost associated with that. As customers get to a different life cycle in their deployment, they can look to bring back that baseline set of customers and achieve a lot of cost savings.

This is why the cloud has really helped a lot of businesses. They’re not confined by infrastructure.

One company we know of says it’s achieved savings of up to 30% by bringing back that infrastructure and that traffic into their facility.

Big Data and eCommerce

Another key example is companies working with big data. For example, ecommerce sites create so much user data. This is down-to-the-minute level of how customers are interacting, abandoned shopping carts, what ads work best, what page layouts worked best, etc.

Stats show big data will grow exponentially in 2012 because customers are looking for that highly interactive ecommerce site. It’s extremely expensive and not optimal to run your Hadoop deployment inside of the cloud. Many companies are putting their own infrastructure right beside their ecommerce deployment that’s in the cloud.

Being able to directly take that data and dump that into a relational database is extremely appealing to companies using a hybrid deployment.

Financial

We also see a lot of financial customers deploying with this same environment where they use a lot of Monte Carlo simulations, and that’s a huge amount of data that they put in the cloud.

They let it run for eight hours and they bring it back, there’s a lot of cost savings around that and also faster time to market. So now they can test it, put that data up there rather quickly and bring it back.

That overall control and flexibility is where we see this going in the future.<>>>>

What Are The Key Takeaways?

First and foremost is flexibility and control. That is, giving customers the control of how do you get your data into the cloud and how you can control that data and bring it back to your own infrastructure.

The second is security and reliability. Having more secure access into your cloud environment and having that highly reliable is definitely a key component to this.

As Gartner’s Lydia Leong has stated in her blog, this is a win-win for all enterprise customers out there because now they have a different, cheaper way to access that cloud and a lot more control.

Another key takeaway is availability and reach. As you look at leveraging and taking core workloads of your environment to the cloud, you can pick and choose and test it a lot easier and bring a lot of that back in.

And finally, Platform Equinix is very important to these types of deployments and to AWS Direct Connect. Equinix offers network density – more than 680 network service providers exist within our facilities.>>>>

Why Equinix?

We spend a lot of time educating consumers on what that means to them. Equinix is probably one of those most logical places to deploy your infrastructure because of the fact you have so much choice on how to deliver your digital bits to your end consumers.

Our ecosystem is critical to finding the right partners for your business. Not only can you access that network density, but you can also directly connect with the top 10 cloud providers – such as Amazon, Microsoft Azure, OpSource, or Salesforce.com – that are providing different types of services.

Equinix is a key deployment hub where you can you deliver the lowest latency across all networks and all key exchanges that exist. You can also directly hub up and pick all the best applications in the cloud world.

That flexibility and choice are core components to what Equinix will deliver to its customers in 2012.
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For more information about the Equinix and AWS service, or to order connectivity to AWS Direct Connect, go to http://info.equinix.com/Amazon-Web-Services.html

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