The trend for enterprises across all industries to move into the cloud is gathering pace. Many maturity levels can be identified. Some businesses are still in the evaluation phase, selecting suppliers and running trials; others are already heavily using the new kind of flexibility and scalability of cloud IT with their critical business data. Enterprises typically have some newer “born in the cloud” apps: these are typically easy to migrate to the cloud. Most customers also have a legacy to manage, which is less straightforward to manage in a cloud configuration.
Hybrid solutions address this, linking customer on-site facilities with publicly-hosted capacity via private networking. This delivers the security, performance and reliability which their applications need. It permits the enterprise to manage all their applications in an optimum way.
In 2014, Colt established agreements with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and VMware. Private, dedicated access to these clouds is now available to order – Microsoft Azure via the ExpressRoute service, AWS via the Direct Connect service and VMWare vCloud Air via their Direct Connect. They can be ordered via Colt’s dedicated Ethernet (layer 2) and IP-VPN private network services (layer 3).
The major cloud service providers have given this careful consideration. Once a customer has brought the service “on-net” using a connected carrier such as Colt, they can enjoy sophisticated self-provisioning of new cloud services, and can typically manage the bandwidth allocations themselves. For example, a customer who starts with an EC2 instance over Direct Connect on Amazon can add another for “test’n’dev” without involving the carrier (bandwidth permitting), or could add S3 resources. This means that the flexibility of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) or platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is not limited by networking obstacles.
We are delighted at just how quickly customers have started to adopt private networking for their cloud services. We already have connections and orders from most of our key countries for these leading cloud services. You can expect Colt to continue to sign new agreements and bring your most relevant cloud service content into our catalogue. For example, we’ve just announced that we’ve become a Google Carrier Interconnection partner for the Google Compute platform.
We can see that key vendors will follow up their IaaS and PaaS solutions with other content over their private networking solutions. For example, Microsoft has announced this year that they will make Office365 available over ExpressRoute. Of course, Colt’s established ExpressRoute capability supports this.
Colt’s unrivalled fibre network (connected to 22,000+ buildings and 530+ Data Centres) offers all its benefits to cloud customers: predictable performance, minimal latency, greatly improved security, and management integration with their existing estates.