​NextDC Azure deal set to drive hybrid cloud strategies

A new deal that will see Australian datacentre-as-a-service provider NextDC offer direct cloud connectivity to Microsoft's Azure cloud platform via ExpressRoute is expected to help customers' hybrid cloud strategies.

NextDC CEO Craig Scroggie expects that a new deal with Microsoft will help drive the hybrid cloud strategies of his company's customers.

The Australian datacentre-as-a-service provider has announced that it has signed a deal with Microsoft enabling direct cloud connectivity to its Azure cloud platform via ExpressRoute.

The Microsoft Azure connectivity is being enabled from NextDC's datacentres in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, and Perth.

Scroggie said that the new collaboration would enable hybrid cloud strategies and expand the horizons of businesses housing IT infrastructure in NextDC's datacentres.

"Microsoft's commitment to the Australian market addresses many concerns of Australian businesses on data sovereignty by ensuring their cloud platform is hosted locally, and accessed through a private, more secure connection," said Scroggie. "Through our collaboration with Microsoft, we can open up a myriad of new opportunities for hybrid cloud computing models.

"This relationship continues to strengthen Australia's nationwide carrier and vendor-neutral ecosystem," he said.

The ExpressRoute service, which is set to be available from NextDC datacentres from the second quarter this year, connects NextDC customers directly to Azure through a private, high-speed, low-latency fibre connection rather than a general internet-based connection, the company said.

The company said that Microsoft's physical infrastructure for Azure ExpressRoute is available via a NextDC switching fabric that provides secure connectivity and real-time provisioning, allowing full integration between cloud services and internal applications.

Microsoft made Azure Geo available in Australia during October last year, almost a year after first announcing it would launch its cloud hosting platform locally.

Microsoft's cloud services are hosted locally at two Microsoft datacentres located in Sydney, New South Wales, and Melbourne, Victoria, and are fitted out with the company's D-series virtual machine, which is approximately 60 percent faster than the company's A-series VMs, and has up to 800GB of local SSD disk.

The US tech giant also announced at the time the expansion of its ExpressRoute offering in Australia via its existing global partnership with Equinix, by forming a new partnership with Telstra.

The Microsoft deal follows the finalisation in September last year of a strategic alliance between Veeam and NextDC, which is seeing the latter drive and promote the services of Veeam's Cloud Provider Program (VCP) partner base to end customers' resellers, MSPs, and service providers in Australia.