Equinix has, over the past several years, played the role of connector between a number of public cloud vendors and organizations' existing IT assets. It's a natural move for Equinix, which, as a global vendor of data center space, is an important utility provider, but obviously doesn't really play much up the value chain. Direct Connect helps them to change that, allowing companies to connect their privately owned and managed infrastructure to AWS. It also performs a similar role for other public cloud platforms, Microsoft Azure for example.
The reasons for providing these connections are obvious - privacy, security, throughput, and application performance all benefit from these high-spec pipes. A recent study released by Equinix, titled Enterprise of the Future, found that by 2017, 84% of IT leaders will deploy IT infrastructure where interconnection – defined as direct, secure physical or virtual connections – is at the core, compared to only 38% today. Don't let it be said that interconnection is not an important part of the modern enterprise IT organization.
So, it makes sense for Equinix to move fast to expand the variety of locations that work with Direct Connect - that is happening today with the announcement that Equinix's Dallas and London facilities will provide direct connect, effective immediately. London is the second European Direct Connect location. Clearly, this is increasingly important as concerns around Safe Harbor provisions, and increasing awareness of international data security issues, make more granular options within Europe important. Previously, London only allowed connection via tether from London to AWS's Dublin facilities. Last year, Equinix announced Direct Connect in Frankfurt - a critical move given Germany's particular data sovereignty requirements.
As for Dallas, it is the fourth North American Direct Connect facility after Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Washington, DC. All told, Equinix has 10 Direct Connect locations: Dallas, Frankfurt, London, Osaka, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia.
A simple announcement, but an important one for many large enterprises in these two locations. Direct Connect is a strong pragmatic response to the realities that enterprises face. Now Equinix just needs to work out how to roll out Direct Connect further and faster.
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