Direct Connection – The Shortest Distance between Two Points


By Lou Najdzin, Vertical Dev. Director, Global Enterprise, Equinix


In my last post, I outlined three network connectivity options:

• Layer 1: direct connection
• Layer 2: Ethernet
• Layer 3: optimized Internet

Today, I will take a closer look at the first of these options, direct connection.

A Layer 1 direct connection is a private, point-to-point fiber connection between the “cages” of two tenants in the same multi-tenant data center. Why is this important? First, because it is fiber and because the distance between customer cages is short, it delivers very high bandwidth and ultra-low latency. Second, because it’s a dedicated fiber, it’s extremely secure. Third, since there is no intermediary network service provider, direct connection costs far less than local access charges for similar services.



Perhaps you have been considering cloud services, but you’re concerned about things like security and performance. The Layer 1 connection can make these concerns go away.

A number of cloud computing companies out there that are “only a cross-connect away,” as we say at Equinix. Companies such as Amazon Web Services, Logicworks, Nirvanix, Virtacore, and more offer layer 1 direct connect options to connect their cloud platforms.

How can customers take advantage of direct connection? “Own the base, rent the spike” is one example. Deploy your private cloud in an Equinix data center and include a layer 1 connection to a public cloud to accommodate volatility in your compute demands. What do you get? Efficiency, cloud economics without the “spooky” internet, high performance, low latency, cost savings, high security. What’s not to like?



Perhaps you’re concerned about putting your data in the cloud, but you’d like to take advantage of the economies of cloud compute. Equinix has partnered with NetApp and AWS to deliver just such a solution. It allows customers to maintain their data on a private NetApp storage array deployed in their cage, while connecting to AWS for services such as Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) via direct connection. As a result, customers can benefit from compute-on-demand while meeting rigorous compliance and security standards, retaining control over data, and maintaining high-levels of application performance.

Or maybe you’re already an AWS user and you’re seeing your data transfer costs steadily increasing. If so, you can take advantage of AWS Direct Connect to dramatically reduce your transfer costs while increasing performance at the same time. For AWS users with monthly transfer costs of $25K or more, Direct Connect is almost a no-brainer.

As you consider the organizational gates that you need to navigate, consider the layer 1 direct connection. Compliance offers will love the secure, private connection. CFOs will be all over the low cost of the cross-connect and the “own the base, rent the spike” for its cost efficiency and capex – opex balance. And best of all, end users will be more than satisfied with application performance.

What’s the bottom line? Transform your network deployment and consumption with an NPH hubbing strategy; but don’t stop there. Combine NPH and layer 1 cross-connects to clouds to leverage the latest IT innovations and transform your business for a competitive advantage.



For more information on NPH implementation options please join me and CFN Services on May 14th for our upcoming webinar, “Implementing Network Performance Hubs: Transform and Control Your Network“.