Australia is frequently cited as one of the most mature markets for cloud adoption, according to global studies and research reports.
Not surprisingly, the Equinix Cloud Exchange (ECX) world map tells a similar story of a nation actively pursuing cloud services. Australia claims the top position globally with the highest number of Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) offering private connectivity from Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centres.
To expand on a recent post from Jeremy Deutsch, which outlined the latest CSPs to join the ECX in Australia, I’ve endeavoured to capture the key cloud connectivity services on offer today and what this means for our customers.
Over 20 new CSPs joined the ECX cloud private interconnection platform in Sydney and Melbourne, with the majority offering Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) where compute and storage resources are available in single-tenanted, managed, private cloud environments or in the form of dedicated servers. This ensures they meet regulatory, compliance or company IT governance requirements for certain application workloads – an increasing priority for many organisations.
Although most CSPs focus on servicing enterprise customers directly, System Integrators and Managed Service Providers can also take advantage of special, wholesale IaaS offerings. Turn-key solutions ready for resellers to white-label and customise are available on cost-effective and scalable hyper-converged hardware architectures such as ICITA’s Hypernode (powered by Huawei platform) and OrionVM’s proprietary hyper-converged platform using InfiniBand.
RackCorp Secure Cloud and Servers Australia offer their own proprietary IaaS built on enterprise-grade supermicro servers, while Interactive built their platform on NetApp-Cisco converged FlexPod architecture and VMWare. Similarly, the Bulletproof, ZettaGrid and Micron21’s IaaS offerings are also based on VMWare technology.
While many of the new CSPs on ECX are local Australian providers, the list also includes Zadara Storage which has expanded its existing Equinix presence from North America and EMEA regions into Asia Pacific, including Australia. The company offers a unique, consumption based, Storage-as-a-Service offering that can be integrated with Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS) in hybrid cloud scenarios or used as dedicated, single tenant storage solution.
Similar public cloud integrated storage is available from ASE, offering NetApp Private Storage-as-a- Service along with their own shared storage cloud offering. Servers Australia and Genisys teamed up with Nimble Storage (now part of HPE) to offer consumption based storage services.
Backup-, Disaster Recovery as-a-Service and Security-as-a-Service
As part of the IaaS offerings, the market also differentiates individual sub-categories for Backup, Disaster Recovery and Security solutions delivered via consumption and OpEx based service models.
A wide range of new Cloud Exchange CSPs address this market, including Fastrack Technology, Genisys using Rubrik technology, Interactive via Commvault partnership, Zettagrid offering both Zerto and Veeam based solutions along with VMTech, Micron 21 and GComm’s own Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) and Disaster-as-a-Service (DRaaS) offerings.
Security-as-a-Service is also present amongst the new Cloud Exchange service offerings with Cloud365, Micron21 and RackCorp Secure Cloud providing protection against Distributed Denial of Service attached (anti-DDoS service).
Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) is another popular cloud service offering including Access4’s services based on the BroadSoft platform; Nexon’s Absolute UC using Microsoft’s Skype for Business which can act as a full replacement for a standard on-premise PABX system, similar to ASE’s offering on their own proprietary system.
Comscentre offers cloud based Unified Communications with a choice of Cisco HCS or Microsoft Skype for Business. BroadSoft offers UCaaS solutions both direct to end customer and also for resellers in a wholesale model. Virtutel hosted PABX solutions will be expanding soon regionally to Hong Kong, Singapore from the current Sydney and Melbourne location.
Cloud Connectivity Aggregation
Many of the new Australian CSPs also offer hybrid clouds, by integrating their own private solutions with global, hyper-scale public clouds such as Microsoft Azure, AWS and IBM Bluemix Infrastructure (previously known as SoftLayer), Oracle Public Cloud, whose private access gateways are also located at the Equinix Sydney IBX data centres. This allows for ultra-low latency and close proximity hybrid cloud architectures.
In these hybrid solutions, the CSPs also act as multi-cloud System Integrators and Managed Service Providers by including cloud connectivity aggregation services via ECX to major public clouds, demonstrating the flexibility of the Equinix Cloud Exchange platform where members can act as service sellers and service buyers at the same time.
Bulletproof and Datacom are both formally recognized for their managed multi-cloud delivery capabilities, both holding AWS Managed Services Partner and Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider status.
The Possibilities for CSPs and Enterprises Alike
In the past few years, Equinix’s cloud ecosystem has diversified considerably, particularly in Australia, where the demand for cloud services is strong. For CSPs, joining Equinix opens up a literal world of possibilities – making partners, networks, customers all much more accessible.
Enterprises moving to hybrid and multi-cloud models will find the ECX very appealing as it enables a true multi-cloud services bundle.
With the ability to leverage multiple CSPs over the same platform, customers benefit from optimum performance, high security and the greatest choice available in the market. The variety of CSPs now available in Equinix also enables customers to choose those cloud services and network connections that best suit their workloads, applications and business requirements and be up and running with them in a matter of hours.