Hosting company Equinix is increasingly emerging as a go-to player as enterprises aim to hook up their datacenters to public cloud resources from the likes of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
NetApp this week outlined that it will launch private storage for Azure. NetApp is looking to become public cloud agnostic and offer multiple options. The storage player already connects directly into Amazon Web Services (AWS).
And those connections run through an Equinix co-location point. NetApp's connection to AWS and Azure goes through the Equinix Cloud Exchange, which puts data closer to the actual servers. Equinix and NetApp became partners in 2012 when the storage vendor linked up with AWS.
For its part, Equinix appears to be a first mover in being a broker to cloud services. Equinix was the first datacenter company to offer Azure ExpressRoute, which provides direct private connections to cloud services. The Equinix Cloud Exchange runs in 16 markets around the world with 19 regions planned by the end of 2014.
On Tuesday, Equinix outlined a deal with EMC to offer Azure through its datacenters. By connecting with both EMC and NetApp, Equinix will have much of the storage market covered for enterprises planning hybrid deployments.
To make hybrid cloud deployments really work, enterprises will need direct connections and the ability to bypass the public internet. Equinix is positioning itself as a private cloud highway.
At its annual investor powwow, Equinix outlined its plan to be a central datacenter point as enterprises mix and match resources.
From there, Equinix plans to take its hybrid cloud pitch to multiple verticals ranging from media companies to financial services and network services.
Here's a look at Equinix's Azure planned footprint.
Today, AWS and Azure are available in Silicon Valley, Washington, D.C. and London. By the end of 2014, Equinix will have 16 Azure locations for private connections and seven for AWS. That Azure to AWS ratio is notable given that Equinix has been plugging into Amazon's public cloud for two years. Simply put, Azure will have more than twice the enterprise throughput via Equinix by the end of the year.