Meeting the Needs of a Growing Hybrid Cloud Market

The lobby of Equinix TR2 in Toronto.

Each month, we profile Global Solutions Architects (GSAs) and highlight their work with our enterprise customers. Today, we’re talking to Tim Sergus about his customers in the central U.S. and Toronto areas, and the recent launch of TR2 in Toronto.

Tim lives in Chicago with his wife and also has a son living nearby. Tim just recently joined Equinix’s North America GSA team. Previously, Tim served in the U.S. Navy doing technical support and has worked in IT in various roles for different companies, including Ford, MCI and Cisco.

In his spare time, Tim works out and competes in the Spartan Races™, which is an obstacle course race of various levels; the highest level is called the Beast, which includes a mud course. He is an avid reader of mystery novels and history and enjoys building models of WWII vehicles and planes.

Q: What experiences have enabled you to help your customers with the business challenges they face?

A: First and foremost, it’s all about listening to the customer. Here is an interesting example that has always struck me: Back in 2002, a customer was talking about how they paid for their equipment as a capital expense (CAPEX), but thought vendors should provide the hardware up front, and only charge operational expenses (OPEX) for the resources being used. This was eye-opening to me and in some ways shocking.

Fast forward to the cloud, SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, etc., which are really about how to maximize business operational infrastructures and processes into this pay-as-you-go OPEX model, while the core business stays under the customer’s direct control as a CAPEX model. This is the current hybrid cloud model that many enterprises are considering.

The other direction we see IT organizations going is with “FastIT,” where the bottom line is agility. IT organizations are looking to enable, not block growing the business. When one thinks of speed and agility, you think hybrid cloud. For example, does IT need to concern itself with running networks for development, or does it need to look elsewhere towards dedicated companies that can scale up and down quickly and provide support? The net-net: It’s about how to make the business and IT more agile.

Tim-SergusQ: What customer best demonstrates innovation and a great use of Equinix as an interconnection platform to the cloud?

A: Reflecting on the hybrid cloud, NetApp Private Storage has made it real for enterprise customers. In general, there are many aspects a customer must deal with, Sarbanes-Oxley, FX (foreign exchange) rules and data sovereignty. The NetApp solution helps customers deal with those challenges by keeping their data local, in the NetApp Private Storage, while seamlessly using the Equinix Cloud Exchange to automatically connect on-demand to multiple cloud service providers (e.g., Microsoft Azure, AWS or SoftLayer) for compute and other functions.

Q: What are the specific highlights of the new TR2 data center opening and the needs it is addressing?

A: TR2 is about expanding into a market that is starving for more interconnection. TR2 will have more network service providers than any other colocation facility, but it’s not just about that ̶ it’s about making the Cloud Exchange, Performance Hub and Ad-IX available to the Toronto market. Toronto has media and financial markets, and with the addition of TR2, we are addressing the services of these companies. Toronto is the fourth-largest city in North America and we are meeting the needs of its growing financial, media, film production and IT businesses.

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