Equinix and AWS Accelerate Value for New York’s Financial Center

Faster route to AWS cloud speeds access to a rich financial services ecosystem

Gene McColm
Vivek Kumar

The laws of physics dictate the closer you are to something, the faster you can get to it. This principle is what makes it critical for financial services ecosystems and their participants (buyers, sellers, market data providers, etc.) to be in close proximity to each other. The closer financial services firms are to their partners and the digital services that are vital to their transactions, the more profitable they are.

Physical proximity cannot be achieved without direct and secure interconnections at the edge, where the densest ecosystems of financial services partners and network and cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), reside. In the financial services world, one of the most critical edge locations is the New York metro area and surrounding regions.

A fast, direct route to the heart of New York’s financial ecosystem

Understanding New York’s role as a global finance epicenter, we have built a vibrant Equinix New York metro ecosystem in our Secaucus campus (NY5). NY5 consists of more than 350 financial firms, dozens of exchanges and execution venues and 60+ specialized financial services vendors. It is also home to more than 60 networks and provides access to 200+ network providers via Equinix Metro Connect. The NY5 campus also provides access to business ecosystems in hundreds of different industries.

As more financial firms are increasingly adopting hybrid cloud, they are finding that it’s vital to be adjacent to cloud platforms. With AWS Direct Connect and Equinix, businesses can take a fast and direct path to building hybrid cloud applications and infrastructures. AWS Direct Connect bypasses the public internet and ensures private, dedicated connectivity and full integration between AWS services and business applications. AWS Direct Connect with Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™) allows you to connect your IT infrastructure directly to Amazon Web Services with a dedicated, fast and secure connection in on Platform Equinix®.

As production-grade cloud environments grow, so does the need for enterprise-grade interconnectivity and service level agreement (SLA) guarantees. This is why Equinix is a proud partner of the AWS Direct Connect Service Delivery Program, which enables our customers to scale high-capacity, virtual interconnection to AWS in all ECX Fabric markets worldwide.

We recently expanded the reach and capabilities of NY5 to include direct and secure access to AWS services across ECX Fabric™ via high-speed capacity, virtual interconnection. This enables financial services businesses to leverage higher AWS Direct Connect Hosted Connection capacity options (1, 2, 5 and 10 Gbps) to quickly access AWS locally, as well as from remote locations where AWS is not present, on a single interconnection and data center platform.

Equinix NY5 provides fast, proximate interconnection between AWS and financial ecosystems, delivering single-digit latency and high-bandwidth to speed financial transactions. This enables firms to leverage AWS as an extension of their on-premises data centers and support complex, hybrid IT workloads that are specific to financial applications. Financial companies can also leverage more cost-effective network-to-cloud connections via ECX Fabric and AWS Direct Connect, with more than three times the savings than using cross-campus and inter-region interconnection.

Accelerating access to AWS for greater financial services performance

Today’s global digital economy requires financial services ecosystems to deploy an interconnection strategy that can effectively and efficiently handle any type of workload anywhere in the world with consistent performance. Here are some exciting examples of how Equinix and AWS are making this happen.

Achieving High Performance Computing

A financial firm, whether it’s a bank, stock exchange or insurance company, needs to process millions of transactions daily with lightning fast speed to service its customers and mitigate risk. Traditional IT infrastructures are not agile or scalable enough to perform these transactions with the speed required, particularly in a hybrid IT environment. Poor transaction performance equals lost opportunities and revenues. ECX Fabric with AWS Direct Connect provides the high-speed, low-latency virtual connections (VCs) required to interconnect on-premises IT infrastructures with scalable AWS cloud services. Users can take advantage of fast access to AWS high-performance AWS EC2 graphic processing unit (GPU) computing clusters and AWS Elastic Block Store (EBS) to process millions of transactions and financial models/simulations to more accurately calculate risk (see diagram below).

High Performance Computing using ECX Fabric with AWS Direct Connect 

Mastering Mobile Banking

Mobile banking transactions are exploding, with 57 million mobile banking users in the U.S. alone.[1] With growing usage, mobile banking applications need to scale. They also need to be hosted on a reliable, secure, highly-available and compliant IT infrastructure. ECX Fabric with AWS Direct Connect provides fast, low-latency, secure and compliant VPCs to EC2 instances, EBS, S3 and DynamoDB for quick and accurate application and data processing for mobile banking customers (see diagram below). Platform Equinix also enables cost-effective direct interconnection to public clouds within the most reliable (99.9999% average uptime) data centers in the world. 

Mobile Banking using ECX Fabric with AWS Direct Connect

Maintaining Compliance

All financial firms need to maintain compliance to operate and not be burdened with heavy regulatory fines. This means that some data cannot be stored in the cloud but rather must be kept in private storage on-premises. By deploying NetApp Private Storage (NPS) on Platform Equinix, businesses can store their data in a single-tenant, private environment, while directly and securely enabling on-premises and cloud-based application access to that data via the ECX Fabric with AWS Direct Connect (see diagram below). This keeps the data secure in the Equinix data center to meet security and compliance policies and regulations while leveraging the capabilities of scalable AWS cloud services. 

Data Compliance using ECX Fabric with AWS Direct Connect and NetApp Private Storage

Platform Equinix with ECX Fabric and AWS Direct Connect dedicated interconnection allows our financial services customers to bring data, application and security services closer to AWS across global markets. The unmatched proximity they get in our NY5 Secaucus campus gives them a significant competitive advantage, accelerating access to the ecosystem partners, customers, and critical network, cloud and specialized service providers they need to win, keep and grow business.

The proof is in the performance

Equinix and Principled Technologies (PT), a leading technology marketing, testing and learning services firm, teamed up to get some answers about data transfer performance when exchanging e-commerce traffic between businesses and cloud partners using private interconnection versus going over the public internet. PT conducted three different AWS EC2 interconnection scenarios at the Principled Technologies data center and an Equinix Solution Validation Center™ (SVC).

The Principled Technologies engineers first constructed a test bed from a technology stack consisting of privately owned resources that included virtualized compute, NetApp® storage and F5 BIG-IP® networking resources. To simulate hybrid cloud scenarios, the environment was set up to run a distributed e-commerce application with the back-end database server residing at the Principled Technologies data center and order-entry clients residing in the AWS public cloud.

The results were pretty amazing:

Download the full Equinix and AWS Direct Connect test report.

Find out for yourself how Equinix and AWS can accelerate your critical business applications by registering for our Equinix/AWS Direct Connect launch event now.

And learn more by reading our AWS Solution Brief.

 

Gene McColm
Gene McColm Sr. Global Solutions Architect - AWS Strategic Alliances
Vivek Kumar
Vivek Kumar Director, Alliances & Business Development, Equinix