Microsoft to Pave a Secure ExpressRoute to Office 365
Privacy concerns? Later this year, customers will be able to privately connect to their cloud-based Office 365 services.Office 365 customers seeking to add an extra layer of security and minimize service disruptions will soon be able to use a secure connectivity option that is currently available for other Azure-backed cloud services from Microsoft. ExpressRoute, a private, secure link to Microsoft's Azure data centers via partner network and data center operators, is coming to Office 365, the company announced March 17. In collaboration with telecommunications and IT infrastructure giants such as AT&T, Verizon, Level 3 Communications, BT, TelecityGroup and Equinix, Microsoft is able to directly connect businesses with their Azure cloud services, providing more stable network bandwidth while side-stepping concerns about exposing their data to the public Internet. Microsoft officially launched ExpressRoute last May, initially covering Silicon Valley, Washington, D.C., and London. In July, Microsoft and Equinix announced a major expansion of the service to Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Seattle, Hong Kong and Singapore. British Telecom and Equinix both helped introduce ExpressRoute to London, while Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ) brought the cloud networking option to that country. "This is something our customers have been asking for since ExpressRoute launched last year," said Julia White, general manager for Microsoft Office 365, in a March 17 announcement. "Currently, ExpressRoute provides customers with dedicated network connectivity through a private connection from their network to Microsoft Azure, and we're excited to extend the same option for connectivity to Office 365."
ExpressRoute addresses one of the biggest issues holding back public cloud adoption among some enterprises: network reliability. Microsoft, whose fortunes increasingly hinge on the cloud, is working to quell the fears of IT managers tasked with keeping their users (and bosses) happy.