Amazon and Google make it easier to connect to the cloud

Google’s Dedicated Interconnect is now available and Amazon released Direct Connect Gateways

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As more organizations look to enable hybrid cloud computing, a big question remains: How do I connect my network to the cloud? This week Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services each released new products that make that process easier.

Google’s Dedicated Interconnect is now generally available

Dedicated Interconnect is an important way for customers to connect to the public cloud. It allows organizations to connect their on-premises resources to a colocation facility and then that co-lo facility has a direct network connection to the public cloud. Public IaaS cloud providers like Google want to give their customers access to fast connections to their cloud, but they don’t want to connect to each individual customer’s site, so they’ve created this co-lo based Interconnect. Google runs the Interconnect and offers either a 99.9 or 99.99% service level agreement. Google is working with a handful of colocation vendors as the middle-man, including Equinix, Digital Realty and Infomart.

In addition to Interconnect being generally available as of last week, Google also announced new functionality for its Cloud Router product, which allows customers to manage all of their virtual subnets in the cloud from a central portal. Users can connect to any subnet they have in the cloud in any Google Cloud region through this central portal.

AWS introduces Direct Connect Gateway

AWS has had its own version of a connect-to-the-cloud product named Direct Connect since 2012. Last week AWS announced new functionality named Direct Connect Gateway. This new feature allows users to centrally manage connections from their on-premises environments, through a co-lo facility, to any AWS region in the world. In the past, users had to setup BGP sessions for each virtual private cloud (VPC) in AWS. Also,  now each VPC can be extended across any region in Amazon’s cloud. This means a customer’s single VPC could extend across multiple AWS regions.

Connections to the cloud are becoming easier

These two items are significant because they show that two of the leading public IaaS cloud providers are actively making it easier for customers to connect their on premises environments to their clouds, and manage those network connections more granularly.

This is a benefit for customers who are not just sending data to the cloud, but also those that need to extract data from the cloud; these network connections are a two-way street.

They also emphasize the importance of colocation vendors who act as an interconnection point between cloud providers and end users. Their importance will only grow in the future as customers manage their hybrid cloud environments.

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