Cloud Connectivity: AWS Direct Connect and Windows Azure Express Route

As the cloud continues to be embraced by customers and partners around the world we are seeking to help them connect to their off-premise investments. Today, providers such as TW Telecom, AT&T, and Level 3 grant their clients the ability to connect to AWS or Windows Azure with scalable and flexible connectivity. Recently, Level 3 released ExpressRoute; a new service that allows customers to utilize a private connection from an Equinox Data Center to the Windows Azure Cloud. This service is similar in nature to the AWS direct connect service that was released a few years ago, providing a private network route to hosted cloud services that bypasses the public Internet.

ExpressRoute aims to reduce latency, and increase the speed in which clients can access their applications. To achieve this goal, Level 3 provides the client with 1 gigabit or 10 gigabit connection from an Equinox Data Center in San Jose to Windows Azure increasing your network throughput for large workloads. Today, Windows Azure does not offer multiple VPN’s into their cloud. To compensate for this issue, consolidating and connecting to the Azure cloud with a private connection ensures the transfer of your data.

AWS Direct Connect provides a 1 gigabit or 10 gigabit connection to the AWS Cloud. An AWS Direct Connect router is placed outside of your router, providing a virtual connection to the AWS cloud reducing network hops as you reach the cloud. Companies such as TW Telecom have released a direct connect product, eLynk, that reduces the port costs associated with AWS. TW is part of the constellation platform vision, where clients will have the ability consume network services the same way in which they consume cloud services, in a per usage model. Today Level 3, TW Telecom, XO Communications, and Zayo Group include some of the partners who can provide the Direct Connect service.

Both AWS and Azure allow you to connect in an aggregated manner, or add the ExpressRoute/Direct Connect service to your MPLS Network. Private Connectivity will lead the way in supporting clients efforts in reaching their applications and reducing latency in their networks. As private cloud connectivity continues to evolve new consumption models and innovative services will be created that grant users the ability to use bandwidth in an on-demand manner.

At Fastblue Communications we work with our cloud partners to maximize your on-site and off-site cloud strategies. In teaming with our cloud partners we help build networks that leverage the off-site capabilities of your cloud, through low latency, high performance, and secure networks.

Contact me today at, or 888.972.BLUE.

Eric Swanstrom

Eric Swanstrom is a Sales and Account Manager at Fastblue Communications. Fastblue is a Premier Managed Cloud, Telecom, and Internet Security Provider.

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