Why Hire a Cloud Services Broker?

Bryson Hopkins

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The rapid adoption of hybrid cloud technologies and the rising demand for “one-stop” access to multi-cloud services has set the growth of the cloud services broker (CSB) market on a sharp upward trajectory. Marketsandmarkets estimates the CSB market will increase by almost 30% from $7.44 to $26.71 billion between 2016 and 2021.

The telecom service providers segment is projected to capture the highest market share as they play a major role in managing cloud connectivity by providing network assets to the cloud service brokering and enablement market. The manufacturing industry sector is expected to have the largest vertical industry market share in 2016, as they move to transform IT infrastructures and adopt cloud-based solutions to improve sales and streamline manufacturing and supply chain management processes.

What Cloud Services Brokers Do

A CSB helps organizations choose the appropriate cloud services, given their specific workload and budget requirements, and allows them to resell cloud service capacity as needed. CSBs enable enterprises to compare the different offerings across multiple clouds with some level of consistency. They also assist with the contract, SLA management, cost and billing negotiations – helping companies secure the best possible cloud pricing and services.

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CSBs can also act as enablers of multi-cloud usage orchestration among various cloud service providers (CSPs), and help enterprises create multi-cloud infrastructures that better manage data and application migration among on-premises and private and public multi-cloud environments. Many of these “CSB services” are provided by managed CSPs, so enterprises may already be leveraging these capabilities through them.

Enterprises pay the CSB on a monthly subscription basis (annual subscriptions have become a thing of the past) and CSBs remove much of the burden of deploying services coming from multiple CSPs. CSBs often provide advisory services, but are typically working with preferred CSPs to resell their offerings. Enterprises would be wise to understand a broker’s business models and select a CSB that most closely matches their own requirements.

Where Cloud Services Brokers Go to Drive New Value for Enterprise Customers

Establishing a point of presence with a vendor-neutral, colocation and interconnection provider such as Equinix can be a valuable boost to a CSB’s business. We are home to vibrant ecosystems of cloud and network providers and CSBs that support this exploding “cloud services utility” market.

Via interconnection solutions such as the Equinix Cloud Exchange, which enables fast provisioning of virtual connections to multiple clouds via a single physical port, CSBs can provide their enterprise customers with fast, direct and cost-effective access to the industry’s leading CSPs (e.g., Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure/Office365, Google Cloud Platform, Oracle Cloud, IBM SoftLayer and VMware vCloud Air).

We also enable aggregation and control access to CSBs for the orchestration of any of the global or local cloud services that reside in Equinix. These solutions can be of great assistance to CSBs that require secure access management because they enable direct and secure interconnection to clouds without going over the public internet. CSBs can develop a comprehensive, cloud access management platform for their customers, making it possible for them to login once and utilize all of their cloud services via a single credential management platform. For example, Equinix, Datapipe and ScienceLogic together can provide organizations secure hybrid IT managed services and monitoring for public and private clouds.

Building a presence within Equinix’s data center and interconnection platform provides the following benefits to CSBs:

  • Direct and secure interconnection to clouds and networks that bypass the public internet, giving CSBs a safe global platform upon which to layer their value-added services
  • Access to growing vertical industry ecosystems (e.g., financial services, media and entertainment, advertising)
  • Interconnection services to multiple clouds that can leverage container and other emerging migration and orchestration technologies for greater application portability across multiple clouds

In addition, Equinix Professional Services for Cloud works with CSBs and their cloud and network partners to develop and test solutions for enterprise customers prior to going into production via Equinix Solution Validation Centers.

CSBs are increasingly becoming a critical component of an enterprise’s hybrid IT and multi-cloud strategy. Read “The Home of the Interconnected Cloud – Where Service Providers and Enterprises Meet to Grow and Innovate Together,” to learn more about how leveraging secure and direct interconnection to rich, vendor-neutral cloud and network ecosystems can help CSBs accelerate enterprise cloud adoption and grow their businesses.