Equinix and Microsoft Partner to Bring Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute to 16 Global Markets

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Equinix announced on Tuesday that it has partnered to bring Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute to 16 global markets inside Equinix International Business Exchange data centers.

Through this offering, Equinix customers can connect directly to Azure in Equinix IBX data centers in North America, South America, Asia, Europe and Australia. Equinix says it is the first data center provider to deliver this globally.

Microsoft launched ExpressRoute in February to offer private, reliable and low latency connections between customer data centers and Microsoft Azure public cloud.

ExpressRoute is currently available as a public preview offering in Equinix IBX data centers in Silicon Valley, Washington, D.C. and London. It will become generally available in those markets later this spring, and the service will be rolled out in multiple metro areas in Europe, Asia-Pacific and South America throughout 2014.

“Businesses are demanding private and secure connections to the cloud to ensure optimal performance and scalability,” Melanie Posey, research vice president at IDC said. “On-site applications such as virtual desktops and customer relationship management (CRM) are migrating to the cloud, alongside born-on-the-cloud Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT) business processes. As a result, companies are looking for cloud connectivity alternatives which offer more consistent performance than the public Internet can provide. Businesses require low-latency and highly reliable connectivity for distributed applications that are increasingly being delivered via the hybrid cloud model. A dedicated private network also returns 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.”

ExpressRoute connections do not go over the public Internet, which improves performance, reliability and scalability, and also offer higher security than typical connections, according to the companies. Microsoft’s physical infrastructure for Azure ExpressRoute resides in Equinix data centers and is available via an Equinix switching fabric.

“Enterprises are drawn to hybrid cloud to benefit from cloud computing efficiencies, while maximizing their existing infrastructure,”  Steve Martin, general manager, Microsoft Azure said. “With 57 percent of Fortune 500 companies already using Microsoft Azure combined with Equinix’s global data center footprint, we look forward to working together to help customers bridge their cloud and on-premises technology to build hybrid environments with enterprise-grade control and reliability.”

With Equinix data centers, Microsoft says it is able to access more than 975 networks, and can scale across Equinix’s platform which includes 450 cloud and 600 IT service providers.

This Microsoft Azure offering comes a couple of weeks after Verizon launched a similar service called Secure Cloud Interconnect (SCI) in 15 Equinix data centers, allowing enterprises to securely connect multiple clouds.

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