Opportunities for Cloud Services in Hybrid/multi-cloud Architectures

Jim Poole

The enterprise trend toward deploying hybrid and multi-cloud environments is increasing and at the same time opening up abundant opportunities for cloud service providers (CSPs). With more than half of enterprises deploying hybrid cloud infrastructures, CSPs can step in to deliver either the private or public sides of the cloud equation. In some cases, large CSPs can handle both.

And since one cloud does not fit all, many enterprises are seeing the need for multi-cloud services to run their businesses. In fact, a recent IDC survey showed that within the next two years, enterprises expect to increase their average cloud service usage from two cloud providers to four.

This increase cloud models that promote using more cloud services means CSPs must partner with other CSPs to deliver the right combinations of cloud services for their customers to remain competitive.

It makes good business sense for CSPs seeking growth in the hybrid and multi-cloud markets to leverage the “cloud gravity” within global colocation data centers where there are dense ecosystems of private and public Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and/or Software-as-a-Service cloud providers. Many CSPs are leveraging interdependencies among private and public cloud offerings and interconnecting multi-cloud environments to add value to their services.

“We have seen more and more dynamic traffic movement between clouds,” said Equinix Chief Technology Officer Ihab Tarazi in a recent LightReading video interview on data center evolution.

“For example, a Software-as-a-Service cloud provider may use an Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud provider for capacity,” Tarazi said.

Another critical factor for CSPs is access to multiple network service providers (NSPs) worldwide, so they can deliver their cloud services to other CSPs and enterprise customers quickly, securely and reliably. To ensure this, proximity and direct interconnectivity among CSPs, NSPs and customers is crucial. Seeking out colocations where there are dense ecosystems of global NSPs enables CSPs to expand their cloud services more quickly to worldwide partners and customers.

Finally, proximity to large, global metros with high concentrations of cloud consumers is essential to taking advantage of the evolving opportunities for clouds in an increasingly digital economy. As cloud services gain more commodity status, CSPs need to find ways to add value for customers looking for unique cloud solutions. Proximate access to these businesses within a common colocation center enables CSPs to readily gather customer requirements and create more customized and competitive cloud services.

Finding a colocation with these high-value cloud, network and customer business ecosystems presents endless opportunities, but only if you are able to efficiently, cost-effectively and securely interconnect with them. The Equinix Cloud Exchange, the winner of the 2015 LightReading’s Leading Lights Award for the most innovative carrier cloud service, delivers on-demand, automated connections to multiple clouds, networks and enterprises. Using multiple, direct virtual circuits, the Cloud Exchange bypasses the Internet to provide better security and performance. Users can also quickly provision multiple connections over a single physical port and enable dynamic bandwidth allocation among various parties.

In the LightReading interview, Tarazi spoke of the importance of automation in managing hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

“Our customers are not able to compete effectively without being able to move with much greater speed than they did before,” he said. “By creating automation within the Cloud Exchange, we have taken out the biggest bottleneck our customers have. … If they are able to connect (to cloud services) in minutes, then their business can improve dramatically.”

Interconnection significantly increases the hybrid and multi-cloud opportunities for CSPs as the great cloud migration continues.

View the entire interview with Equinix CTO, Ihab Tarazi on data center evolution.


Jim Poole
Jim Poole Vice President, Business Development, Equinix, Inc.