How to optimize app performance in multi-cloud environments

Cloud service providers (CSPs) serving a growing a customer base must be prepared to tackle challenges that are inherent in widespread cloud adoption and optimize their service performance. One key success factor is interconnection – the ability to connect to customers, networks and each other in an instant.

This year, tactical cloud computing benefits, such as elastic capacity, utility pricing and deferred capital investments, are no longer enough, according to Frost & Sullivan’s Stratecast practice. Enterprises will seek out providers that support greater end-to-end performance, visibility, and accountability to help drive their strategic goals.

At the same time, multi-cloud strategies are quickly becoming the norm worldwide. “Businesses have discovered that collocation provides a meaningful ROI for WAN optimization and it is clear that multi-cloud deployment will improve the ROI even more,” says Ihab Tarazi, chief technology officer, Equinix.

Proximity factor

To ride on these trends, CSPs need a truly global data center embedded in a robust and interconnected ecosystem, which enables them to deliver low-latency and high-performance connectivity and application performance to customers, and allows them to choose the network service providers that can deliver the service performance that their customers expect.

Proximity to international network traffic and relationships with other CSPs, managed service providers and systems integrators within the ecosystem also help to optimize cloud service delivery.

Hence, location of data center matters because proximity is a vital consideration and the impact of interconnections on cloud service delivery is greatest if they are consistently available to customers wherever they are.

Through strategically planned interconnections, CSPs can help customers to build competitive advantage by collaborating with other enterprises via secure, reliable and instant connections. This is what CSPs such as Datapipe, Fujitsu and Cloud365 have done by building out their IT infrastructures for maximum connectivity and global scale.

These service providers are leveraging the 147,000-plus interconnections already established on Platform Equinix. The platform provides direct cross-connects to cloud services, including enabling secure virtual connections to multiple, global cloud services via one physical port.

“Enterprises don’t have to have multiple connections to the various clouds across many locations,” says Clement Goh, managing director, Equinix South Asia. “We have high cloud density in our data centers where the customer can just plug into the black box and connect to most of the service providers that they seek. This also helps to reduce the complexity of the hybrid cloud and speed up the adoption.”

Enabling ecosystem

Platform Equinix serves an interconnected cloud ecosystem, including more than 450 cloud service providers such as Amazon, Box, Microsoft and Salesforce.com; provides access to more than 1,000 public and private networks; and interconnects a large marketplace of over 4,800 potential customers and partners across more than 100 data centers worldwide. Cloud and IT service providers account for a quarter of Equinix’s business and are the fastest growing segment for the company.

By end of this quarter, Equinix will have brought five new data centers online across its platform to meet strong global demand for premium interconnection and data center services. Costing US$277 million, the facilities in Singapore, Melbourne, London, Toronto and New York represent an additional 4,200 new cabinets and over one million square feet of data center space at full build. They will increase the scale of Platform Equinix, in which more than US$7.5 billion have been invested over the last 15 years, by more than 10%.

CSPs’ objectives

Equinix’s newest data center in Melbourne, ME1, opened with more than 40 new customers deployed, including CSPs Bulletproof and Exigent; content delivery services provider CacheFly; and the Western Australian Internet Association (WAIA).

CacheFly’s Melbourne point of presence (POP) is deployed in Equinix’s ME1. With edge caches in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, the company aims to ensure that its customers’ end users receive faster content delivery than with any other network.

Cloud365 also selected ME1 to consolidate its global infrastructure across 14 international POPs. The CSP provides high-availability cloud infrastructure that is purpose-built for its customers’ specific software and operational requirements.

Cloud365, which first deployed in Equinix’s Washington DC data center (DC1) in October 2013, can interconnect directly to customers and partners within the ME1 data center to deliver its cloud solutions. By connecting to the networks serving their customers in the same facility, it can reduce latency and ensure high performance.

“Equinix allows us to reduce costs and optimize infrastructure; giving us freedom to be great at what we do by serving our customers in migrating them to the cloud at the application layer,” says Darren Moss, general manager and founder of Cloud365.

In Singapore, managed hybrid IT solutions provider Datapipe have deployed in Equinix’s newly opened SG3 data center, which offers new paths in and out of the world’s largest financial centers.

“Datapipe and Equinix are long-time partners,” says John Landy, CTO at Datapipe. “We both know hybrid cloud environments, and we have been working together to deliver global, multi-platform hybrid IT solutions for the enterprise with direct connections to multiple public, private and hybrid clouds for some time.”

“As a purpose-built data center with strict security standards that meet the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s guidelines, Equinix provides the ideal platform to ensure high-quality service delivery for our customers,” Landy adds.

With its new data center also housed in SG3, Fujitsu plans to introduce new services for the integrated management of organically linked clouds and provide inter-database connectivity to the cloud services of other major companies. It is now delivering SaaS, PaaS and hybrid cloud services with a variety of value-added ICT features.

Clearly, Platform Equinix has enabled CSPs to create a truly interconnected cloud, one with optimal performance and the proximity and partners to satisfy peering, transit and traffic exchange requirements. More importantly, it has allowed CSPs of all sizes – from Microsoft Azure to smaller local players – to tap on the interconnection they need to optimize performance and prepare for growth.

This is a QuestexAsia feature commissioned by Equinix.