Microsoft and Equinix collaborate to privately connect Azure cloud and on-premise IT

Equinix and Microsoft have collaborated to help businesses connect their on-premise IT infrastructure with Azure cloud via a private network

Equinix and Microsoft have collaborated to help businesses connect on-premise IT infrastructure with Azure cloud via a private network. The tie-up comes as enterprises seeking a hybrid cloud strategy want a secure and private connection between public cloud services and their in-house datacentres.

Businesses are demanding private and secure connections to the cloud to ensure optimal performance and scalability, according to analysts at research firm IDC.

“On-site applications, such as virtual desktops and customer relationship management (CRM), are migrating to the cloud, alongside big data and Internet of Things (IoT) business processes. As a result, companies are looking for cloud connectivity alternatives that offer more consistent performance than the public Internet can provide,” said Melanie Posey, research vice-president at IDC.

Through the partnership, Equinix will allow datacentre customers to directly connect to Microsoft Azure cloud services and fully integrate cloud services and internal applications to build hybrid clouds. The partnership makes Equinix the first datacentre provider to bring Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute service to enterprises at 16 countries.

Windows Azure ExpressRoute allows users to create private connections between Azure cloud and users’ on-premises or colocation infrastructure. ExpressRoute connections do not go over the public Internet, and offer higher security, faster speeds and lower latencies than typical network connections.

It is similar to AWS DirectConnect, which allows AWS public cloud users to privately connect to their datacentres without using public internet.

A dedicated private network between in-house IT and the cloud also returns IT control to the internal teams responsible for the applications. With Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute, Equinix and Microsoft are enabling high-performance hybrid cloud on a global basis,” Posey added.

The combination of private access, interconnection capabilities, and a choice of private network connectivity options, enables Azure to appear as “seamless extension to a physical datacentre”, according to Microsoft Azure’s general manager, Steven Martin.

"We are witnessing a significant shift in how enterprises operate as they adopt hybrid cloud, and they are looking to effectively address performance and security concerns often associated with the cloud,” said Chris Sharp, vice-president of Cloud Innovation at Equinix.

Microsoft has integrated its cloud services with private, secure connection via Equinix’s switching fabric to provide virtual connections to and from Microsoft Azure.

Read more on Datacentre disaster recovery and security