Stronger Together: Why Enterprises are Increasingly Turning to Hybrid Multicloud Ecosystems

Michael Tsang

As discussed in the recent hybrid multicloud blog by Tejaswini Tilak, a hybrid multicloud approach is becoming the de facto model of cloud adoption as it can deliver greater reliability and agility in business operations. Add interconnection to the mix, and users can significantly reduce the complexity of hybrid adoption between private networks and public clouds.

According to IDC1, by 2021, more than 35% of enterprise IT operations spend in APeJ will be consumption-based, with public cloud platforms becoming the preferred option for enterprises thanks to its ease of management and lower costs. Meanwhile, many businesses are capitalizing on private cloud to enjoy benefits like better security, regulatory compliance and scalability, especially those who want to securely integrate their in-house software applications into the cloud.

With more and more applications and workflow spanning both private and public cloud, there’s hardly one single company that can provide all of these fully-fledged cloud services in a time- and cost-efficient manner. This has led to the evolution of a cloud ecosystem, which can bring together the increasing number of participants in a business’s supply chain, including private and public cloud service providers (CSPs), IT hardware and software vendors and network providers.

A cloud ecosystem means improved access to resources and new business opportunities. It also gives companies the flexibility to choose between service providers and resource management options, and ease of management as all participants are closely interconnected.

The business world sees the benefit in working together as well. Hybrid multicloud ecosystems are growing – according to Synergy Research Group2, the cloud ecosystem market passed the US$250 billion mark in 2018, representing an annual growth rate of 32% from 2017.

However, this gives rise to another challenge – how can businesses ensure a secure and reliable cloud ecosystem that allows participants from around the world to nimbly and seamlessly interact? The key to unlocking the immense value of a cloud ecosystem is something that we at Equinix have long focused on – interconnection.

Ensuring a secure platform to enjoy a wealth of cloud services

The more participants, the greater value an ecosystem delivers. In today’s fast-paced, globalized business world, a robust cloud ecosystem should consist of an adequate number of global players who are closely interconnected on the cloud, so that businesses can find the best-of-breed options and resources swiftly. As a leading interconnection and data center service company, we currently operate 41 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers in Asia-Pacific and over 200 around the globe.

To simplify processes on the cloud, we launched the Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™) – a software-defined interconnection service that gives customers direct access to multiple clouds in various global locations through an easy-to-use and self-navigating portal. We currently have more than 1,400 participants on the platform. With the addition of SmartKey™, our new SaaS-based secure key management and cryptography service, our customers are now able to enjoy easy access in an even more secure way.

Our ever-growing global reach and seamless cloud interconnectivity have enabled us to continue to amplify our vast cloud ecosystem, which consists of a growing number of noteworthy partners at every cloud layer: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Here are a few examples of our partners in Asia-Pacific.

IaaS, the basic layer in a cloud computing model, often provides the infrastructure such as servers, storage, networks, operating systems and virtual machines. To ensure a solid IaaS foundation for our cloud ecosystem, we strategically partner with an impressive number of over 2,900 cloud and IT service providers, including Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud and Tencent Cloud.

We recently extended AWS Direct Connect cloud service availability to our Hong Kong IBX data centers, offering region-wide availability to propel hybrid cloud development and accelerate digital transformation in Asia-Pacific across Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. By offering AWS Direct Connect to businesses in Hong Kong, we are allowing enterprises to accelerate their hybrid cloud strategies by incorporating cloud services into their existing architectures in a seamless and safe manner.

We also announced another exciting collaboration last month with Hewlett Packard Enterprise to launch Azure Stack-as-a-Service in the region. This solution allows enterprises to leverage HPE GreenLake with Microsoft Azure Stack to facilitate on-demand provisioning and management of their hybrid cloud architecture more effectively, without incurring excessive initial costs or requiring access to niche expertise.

PaaS sits on top of the IaaS layer – providing additional tools such as database management system, business intelligence services and web server.

Data management company Iguazio came to Equinix with the aim of expanding its business globally by bringing enhanced performance, security, high availability and ease of use to the big data and cloud-native applications of its customers. By working with Equinix, Iguazio can provision fast and reliable connectivity to CSPs and deliver a Unified Data Platform to its customers, while enjoying proximate, direct and secure access to AWS and to a rich partner and enterprise ecosystem.

In addition to this, our partnership with Oracle has enabled optimized direct connections to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect, so that enterprises can connect their corporate IT infrastructure directly to Oracle Cloud for high-performance solutions and direct access to Oracle’s portfolio of cloud platform services.

The topmost layer in the cloud stack is SaaS – offering users access to products and application services through the internet, without the need to install, maintain or code the software themselves. We have helped a number of businesses to extend their SaaS solutions to all parts of the world over the cloud, including SAP and Salesforce.com, to name a few.

Another example is Cisco, who partners with us to launch its meeting solution Cisco Webex Edge Connect worldwide via ECX Fabric to extend its global presence, increase scalability, enhance security and improve service performance. With greater proximity to its customers, partners, and business in the cloud ecosystem, Cisco can offer Webex users consistent, predictable performance that is separate from or prioritized over their data traffic via private connections.

We are also working with enterprise IT cloud company ServiceNow to help businesses around the world to automate and manage IT processes. It leverages Equinix’s global reach to quickly and seamlessly execute into multiple markets simultaneously, addressing its needs for global presence, cost savings and reliable systems operations.

Since the inception of our global partner program in 2015, we have been working very closely with our partners to deliver 360-degree cloud services for our 9,800+ customers, enabling them to embrace digital transformation throughout their hybrid multicloud journeys. If you want to find out more about our extensive cloud ecosystem and partner network, you can check our partner directory.

References:

1 – https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prAP44809719

2 – https://www.srgresearch.com/articles/2018-review-shows-250-billion-cloud-market-ecosystem-growing-32-annually