Microsoft is making generally available to enterprise users as of May 12 its Azure ExpressRoute networking technology.
Microsoft is playing up ExpressRoute as a key piece of its hybrid cloud strategy. Officials announced the general availability of ExpressRoute during the kick-off keynote at TechEd 2014 in Houston on May 12.
ExpressRoute, codenamed "Golden Gate," offers users private and dedicated network connections that don't use the Internet. Microsoft is delivering ExpressRoute via partnerships with telecommunications providers like AT&T, Verizon, BT, Level 3, Equinix, Telecity and also storage-as-a-service provider Zadara.
By circumventing the Internet and making connections over these commercial networks, ExpressRoute gives users options for more secure, faster, reliable and lower-latency connections, Microsoft officials have said.
Microsoft officials are positioning ExpressRoute as its hybrid networking service for larger business customers. For smaller and mid-size businesses who want hybrid cloud/on-premises networking, Microsoft offers a service called Azure Virtual Network, which was codenamed "Brooklyn." Azure Virtual Network allows users to create private, isolated networks in Azure and treat them as extensions of their on-premises datacenters.
ExpressRoute can enable users to add compute and storage capacity to their on-premises datacenters. Other use cases: Support for periodic data migration; replication for business continuity; and disaster recovery. Microsoft touts ExpressRoute as an option for transferring large amoounts of data or moving large virtual machines between customers' own dev/test environments in Azure and on-premises production environments.