Pick Your Cloud, Control Your Data

By Tom Shields, NetApp


Wow! The announcement of the Equinix Cloud Exchange opens up very interesting new hybrid cloud options for the enterprise. Now companies can connect multiple clouds across multiple sites—faster, easier, more reliably, and more affordably than they can using the open Internet. And, the solution addresses key security, performance, and vendor lock-in concerns that hold many organizations back from fully realizing the benefits of cloud services.


Lots of NetApp customers already use Equinix colocation services, and Equinix also houses a large number of the most successful public cloud services. Our customers are catching on to the power of having their data in close proximity to these cloud resources. For example, we have seen huge interest in NetApp Private Storage for Amazon Web Services, a solution pioneered by NetApp and Equinix more than a year ago. Customers with a NetApp device in Equinix locations can leverage a private high-bandwidth, sub-5ms latency cross-connection to the Amazon Web Services EC2 cloud.  With it, customers can take advantage of the cost and elasticity benefits of public cloud compute while leveraging the performance, availability, and control of their data on NetApp.  We see all kinds of use cases for this with compute-variable workloads, including business application disaster recovery, application development and test, high-performance web services using NFS and CIFS, video transcoding and content distribution, medical records management, and financial service applications, to name a few.


Fast-forward to today—we are excited to be one of the first users of the Cloud Exchange to dynamically cross-connect to multiple public clouds from NetApp resources at Equinix data centers. We see great value for our own IT purposes in controlling our own data and having the option to connect to the rest of the infrastructure stack within different cloud vendors. With continuous innovation and no end in sight for the price wars among the major cloud vendors, why not take advantage of this competition without the complications of moving data out of one cloud and into another? 


Looking ahead, I think many IT leaders who want to move to hybrid cloud solutions while maintaining control will see this as a nice opportunity. If you put your next NetApp storage refresh in an Equinix colocation center you’ll put yourself in a position to try out the Cloud Exchange. The option to get your data connected to a world of public clouds while keeping you in the driver’s seat seems like a great bargain!