MSP Today Expert Feature
August 11, 2014

XO Offering New Connections to AWS through Expanded Partnership

XO Communications (News - Alert) and Amazon have strengthened their infrastructure and cloud computing relationship. XO has expanded access to AWS cloud solutions through additional dedicated connections offering speeds of 50 to 500 Mbps. The new connections are offered through the AWS Direct Connect program.

The company was previously offering secure network connectivity to enterprises with speeds of 1 and 10 Gbps and wanted to offer more variety to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes. The new connections are meant to open cloud services migration and adoption to new markets through secure network connections as well as management tools.

XO is offering direct connectivity to AWS through the XO IP-VPN, which helps eliminate many of the challenges and risks associated with the public cloud by offering a secure private on-ramp. The blend of connectivity is designed to become part of an enterprise’s secure, virtual private network architecture.

"Companies of all sizes are now looking for reliable, more secure access to cloud resources through direct connections to AWS,” said Nicola Jackson, vice president, product and marketing at XO Communications. “Toward achieving that for our customers, XO is helping companies maximize their network investments with cost-effective connections to the cloud."

The expanded partnership comes less than a month after AWS competitor Microsoft (News - Alert) Azure announced similar strengthened partnerships with NetApp and data center provider Equinix. NetApp is offering a solution providing Private Storage for Microsoft Azure that bridges private enterprise IT networks with the Azure cloud environment. The solution is available exclusively through Equinix (News - Alert) and offers all the security and benefits of the company’s Equinix Cloud Exchange. It is being offered through the Azure ExpressRoute program, which offers the same type of connectivity bridge as AWS Direct Connect.

What is interesting is that XO and Equinix are longtime partners, with XO utilizing Equinix International Business Exchange data centers for its 100Gbps network. So XO could theoretically offer the same service for connectivity to Azure, since the onboarding is already in place throughout Equinix data centers. Yet XO is a member of the AWS partner network while Equinix works with AWS and Azure through its Cloud Exchange. The company also has infrastructure to connect to other public clouds like Google (News - Alert). It will be interesting to see how service providers like XO proceed as the cloud market becomes increasingly competitive and customers demand choices and variety from their service providers.

Edited by Maurice Nagle