Equinix launches Cloud Exchange to grow APAC cloud adoption

Enterprises will soon be able to connect directly to multiple cloud services to build a hybrid cloud solution through Equinix's newly announced Cloud Exchange.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

In comparison to the US and Europe, the APAC region remains more conservative when it comes to public cloud adoption, according to Eric Hui, Equinix Asia-Pacific director of cloud and service provider markets.

Hui said there are a number of factors that exemplify this. For example, the amount of in-born cloud providers that exist in APAC compared to other regions is far fewer, as is the percentage of organisations that have direct connectivity via datacenters to cloud providers.

"From an economic point of view of APAC, the proportion of SMEs and mid-market customers that use cloud are more. But of course from that standpoint, they're using some of the basic services like email and storage services. Whereas over in the US and America, I've seen more people talking about analytical usage of cloud computing, for example big data and performance monitoring," he said.

"I think the shift is a combination of maturity, perception ... but it's still not entrenched here in APAC."

Hui said the main concern APAC businesses have when it comes cloud adoption is that there aren't many use cases to illustrate the benefits of the cloud, despite there being plenty that exists in the US and Europe.

"I see in APAC, people care about how it has been used and whether I am the guinea pig. They say 'Show me and prove it to me where there's some similar enterprise or categories of enterprises that have used this before I dive into this'," he said.

"It's just the level of risk averseness in the US and Europe, where they're a little more tolerant, whereas here, people say show me first before I consider it."

By comparison however to the rest of APAC, Australia is at the forefront of cloud adoption and "it will only be a matter of time" before the rest of the region follows on, Hui said.

"The percentage of virtualisation technology is actually very, very high. I think it's in the high 70-80 percent," he said.

"A lot of that IT infrastructure has already been using virtualisation technology, and that itself is the foundation of using cloud because people now understand cloud is multi-tenanted — which means one server and a couple of users — and to be able to balance the load and use it on demand itself is the key.

"Australia — being the pioneer and leader in APAC — is actually in a good position to lead in cloud usage models, and that could be used to influence the rest of APAC usage as well."

In an effort to further accelerate cloud adoption in the APAC region, Equinix has announced Cloud Exchange, a solution that enables on-demand and direct access to multiple clouds and multiple networks globally. It gives enterprises direct access to the services they need to build hybrid cloud solutions inside Equinix's datacenters. It will be globally available on 1 July 2014.

Equinix's Cloud Exchange has also been designed with a Portal and APIs to simplify the process of managing connections to multiple cloud services. Businesses can use the Portal and APIs to allocate, monitor, and provision virtual circuits with the provisioning of those circuits automated end-to-end from the Cloud Exchange to the service provider.

According to Hui, Cloud Exchange has been designed to meet the growing demand by organisations to have direct connectivity between multiple cloud services so they can build flexible hybrid cloud solutions.

"We're seeing customers not only demand that kind of direct connectivity, but we're also seeing that cloud providers have emerged and maybe customers would like the cloud provider to help them serve another need in their IT organisation," he said.

"So the whole emergence of multi cloud and hybrd IT cloud means using multiple vendors to support the enterprise IT.  If that's the case, we can help customers by allowing them to come into our platform to have very fast provisioning, and to be directly connected to multiple cloud providers, and also to give them an opportunity to have more self control. So if I want to have a direct connectivity with them, I switch on the link myself, or if I don't need it, then I switch it off the day after."

As part of its cloud expansion roadmap, Equinix announced earlier this year it is investing AU$68 million to open a datacentre in Melbourne.

"We definitely see Melbourne as the other half of Australia's key metropolitan area. We've had success in Sydney and we see we have to go on that same journey with Melbourne as well," Hui said.

"Right now, we're seeing there's a lot of momentum as far as our customer base in Sydney, and we hope we'd be able to reach a good proportion in Melbourne."

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