Interconnecting Clouds and Networks for Industry Innovation

Bryson Hopkins is a Global Solutions Architect (SA) at Equinix specializing in cloud solutions for the enterprise, media and telecom markets. He lives in the northern Virginia area and has spent most of his career in the systems integrator space (e.g. Raytheon, Northrop Grumman) building large-scale information systems for government agencies. Bryson started off working with private cloud technology (i.e., VMware), and then moved to public clouds with Amazon Web Services (AWS). We talked with Bryson about how cloud and network services providers come together to develop innovative solutions for industry applications.

What are the top challenges that you and your team are helping customers solve today? Cloud technology is here to stay. We are long past the point of skepticism and slow industry adoption due to reservations about its long-term viability. Cloud as a delivery platform is now allowing a new level of innovation that just wasn’t possible even three years ago. We consult with companies across a range of industries to help them transform their business/services/operations, such as manufacturing, engineering and healthcare, just to name a few. Our job is to help our customers create a digital strategy that defines which transformative steps are best for conducting business within their industry.

How are network and cloud service providers working together in Equinix?

Cloud service providers (CSPs) provide the service platform the drives innovation forward. Many companies are now born in the cloud and will stay there. Cloud, with its utility and pay-by-the-hour computing, can be such a cost differentiator for services with variable resource demands. However, clouds are not ubiquitous just yet, and, in many cases, they reside in large data centers that are often in far off, hard-to-reach places. In some cases, the only way that end users can consume content from the cloud is through a network service provider (NSP)/carrier. Carriers typically provide the last mile step for content delivery of photos and videos, or for streaming video on demand, games and social apps ̶ all running in the cloud.

One trend we are seeing is the encroachment of the cloud companies into the traditional telecom space. The “hyperscalers” (e.g., AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google) are now running worldwide backbones that rival any Tier 1 NSP, and some are larger than many Tier 1 providers put together. We also see CSPs investing in subsea cable systems to control as much of the user experience as possible. In this sense, traditional telcos are relegated to the regional, last mile distribution.

How does Equinix help its customers access the right combination of CSP and NSP services?

Matching up CSPs and NSPs is an important part of enabling hybrid solutions for cloud customers. With more than 1,100 networks and 500-plus cloud providers, we can enable any number of CSP and NSP combinations that suit enterprise requirements and value-added service provider partnerships. Leading cloud providers can be accessed through our Cloud Exchange via network/carrier partners that support AWS Direct Connect, Microsoft Azure/Office 365 ExpressRoute, Oracle FastConnect, SoftLayer Direct Link and Google Cloud Platform.

The Equinix Marketplace enables both enterprises and service providers to locate the right services in the right locations. And our Nimbo professional services team can provide expert consulting on migrating line-of-business applications to the cloud through individualized application development, as well as integration and migration services.

Behind it all, ubiquitous interconnection comes first to enable all of these services to work together worldwide. Having more than 145 data centers in more than 40 markets globally gives cloud and network service providers a place to leverage proximate access to each other and their customers.

Follow our GSA Profile series by linking to these articles:

Misha Tchernuhin: The Changing Face of Networking Mark Anderson: Helping Enterprises Maintain Digital Relevancy Pragnesh Panchal: Harnessing the Power of the Cloud for On-Premises Data Stefan Raab: Integrating Cloud Solutions