Digital Realty gets into the cloud interconnect caper

Collaborates with Australia's Megaport on software-defined links between big bit barns

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Bit barn baron Digital Realty has decided it needs to be a player in the cloud connection caper. The company's therefore cooked up something called “Service Exchange” that offers software-defined links between its data centres and those operated by the likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, IBM SoftLayer and Microsoft's Azure, plus a host of niche players.

As with competing services like Equinix's Cloud Exchange, the underlying issue here is that best-effort internet connections aren't a great way to make sure that traffic flows quickly between users and cloud services, or between on-premises data centres that need to have frequent chats with clouds or software-as-a-service. A software-defined tunnel or traffic grooming service can therefore speed things up and stop users getting shirty when Office 365 or Salesforce feels slow.

Data centre operators feel they add value by offering a smorgasbord of such interconnects, saving tenants the hassle of understanding deep internet plumbing.

Digital Realty last year acquired an outfit called Telx that had plenty of software-defined networking (SDN) interconnection smarts, along with a few data centres. But for this service Digital Realty has collaborated with Australian SDN outfit Megaport, which offers elastic SD-WANs.

Digital Realty's calling those “Virtual Cross Connects” and reckons it can make things interesting by not just connecting to big mega-clouds but also by making it easier to work with niche clouds.

The company will flick the switch on the service at its Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Ashburn bit barns in 2016's fourth quarter [that's mostly the Telx footprint so far as The Register can tell - Ed]. By mid-2017 it will be available in 24 data centres. ®

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