The Cloud-Enabled Enterprise


By Jarrett Appleby

Just a couple of years ago, most people thought of the “cloud” as software as a service (SaaS) providers leveraging the “best-effort” public internet ecosystem to drive down costs. But this model was never sufficient for the enterprise, which needs better performance, scalability, and security. Today, Equinix has created a new cloud model that delivers all the advantages of the cloud but also satisfies the needs of the enterprise.

Enterprises that move applications and infrastructure to the cloud can finally get out of the “infrastructure business,” which most organizations acknowledge is a complex and expensive burden that diverts huge amounts of time, attention, and resources away from the core effort of creating the differentiated services that their business models are based on.

So is it finally the right time for your enterprise to move to the cloud? Can performance and security really be assured? If so, is it still cost-effective? The short answer is “Yes!” Here are the three steps you need to take to successfully become a cloud-enabled enterprise.

Step 1: Re-architecting the WAN

The first step is to move the center of your architecture – the WAN hub – into a neutral data center where you can connect directly to a broad community of network providers and services. Such a marketplace creates more choice, which drives down costs, provides the agility you need to scale, and ultimately improves end-user performance.

Just as an example, at Equinix we find that our top-tier service providers typically connect directly with 6 to 10 different carriers in each market to achieve the best connectivity, performance, and cost. In the neutral data center, this broad choice of carriers is already there, just a cross-connect away. No costly, complex, and time-consuming installation cycle.

Step 2: Create a Private Cloud

The second step is creating a private cloud environment for your infrastructure and managed applications. Again, Equinix’s neutral data centers already have a host of providers that can help you create a private cloud environment that completely avoids the public cloud and provides the scale, flexibility, agility and security you need. Through our Ethernet Exchange, for example, you can connect the WAN directly to carriers and metro connection providers for maximum performance and security. More than 50 providers in 17 markets around the world are now part of the Ethernet Exchange, enabling global private networking directly in the cloud.

Step 3: The Hybrid Solution

The third step is taking advantage of the huge community of public cloud providers, security providers, and storage providers that are also in the neutral data center. These services provide tremendous flexibility to more easily and cost-effectively adapt, grow, and manage your infrastructure in a hybrid environment.

And with Equinix you have more choice in how you develop this hybrid environment. We have neutral data centers in 38 markets around the world. In addition to almost 700 network providers, we have a community of more than 300 cloud service providers within our data centers, and another 800-plus IT managed service suppliers who also support the enterprise.