Equinix is in a pretty amazing position as an arms broker for organizations using technology. Not only does it have a massive global footprint of data centers, but it also plays host to a number of public cloud vendors within those data centers. While public cloud vendors are quick to trumpet the opening of a new facility in a far-flung location, often that facility is actually sited within an Equinix facility.
This fact, along with its massive resource pool of fast networks and global spread, has allowed Equinix to offer some pretty compelling solutions to organizations. The fact that a large enterprise can utilize a private, direct connection between a public cloud vendor and its own data center, enabled by Equinix' own networks, meets their needs in terms of speed and security.
Equinix is attempting to extend the value of its offering with the announcement today of a couple of new solutions designed to streamline enterprises' migration to Amazon Web Services (AWS). The AWS Direct Connect Converged Infrastructure bundle and Equinix Cloud Exchange enablement solutions include deployment tools, solutions from Cisco and NetApp alongside direct connections supplied by Equinix. The idea of the bundles is to "enable enterprises to use the same storage and network management tools used in their private deployments as they migrate to public or hybrid architecture."
Which, at first blush, sounds pretty good. Who wouldn't want to use the same approach to their technology as they move to the public cloud?
Well, if one thing has been learned from the impressive openness of perhaps the highest profile, and best-practice exemplar of public cloud usage, Netflix, it is that building for the public cloud is a completely different beast from building traditional applications. Netflix' former chief cloud czar, now venture capitalist, Adrian Cockcroft, went to great lengths to explain that building for the cloud was all about massive redundancies, planning for failure, agile development and deployment tools and nimble monitoring and management. None of which are, sadly, particularly common in enterprise's traditional IT landscapes.
The Equinix press release says it all: "Customers can now connect their familiar, private infrastructure to AWS." I would contend, however, that while connecting their familiar infrastructure to AWS is useful in some cases, extending that to being a cloud migration story isn't particularly helpful and could possibly reduce the value those organizations gain from the public cloud.
Of course, it meets an enterprise demand -- IT departments are very keen to pay lip service to the public cloud while keeping things largely the same. But this is one announcement that I can't get massively excited about.
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