Digital Realty to Launch Multicloud Control Platform

The new control platform offers a secure method for enterprises to consume multiple clouds and to create hybrid cloud architectures and applications.

Digital Realty may be the largest global provider of data center, colocation and interconnection services of which you've never heard. But that doesn't mean it can't be newsworthy.

The publicly traded New York City-based company (NYSE: DLR), which owns about 140 secure colocation and interconnection facilities around the world, has about 2,500 enterprise customers and sports a $14 billion market cap, on Nov. 4 will launch something called Service Exchange, an interconnection control platform that facilitates direct, private and secure connections to multiple cloud service providers.

Service Exchange offers users access to multiple cloud service providers and other service providers through a single port that supports multiple virtual private connections, called virtual cross connects, to service providers and data centers. Users can manage their virtual cross connects through MarketplacePortal, Digital Realty's online customer platform, and scale the bandwidth of their connections up or down as needed.

Service Exchange Also Offers All the Usual-Suspect Clouds

This service also can include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure, in addition to telecommunications providers and other Digital Realty users worldwide, Marketing Director John Shultz told eWEEK. Users include many large players, including IBM, Facebook and a number of network carriers, such as AT&T and others.

As cyber-security becomes a deeper and more substantive threat, in particular to governments, military and international businesses, the availability of private internet connectivity where hackers cannot go becomes a more attractive option.

Service Exchange is designed to simplify the interconnection process and make access between interconnected services, providers and businesses more flexible, scalable and easier to use. Once it is in public deployment, Service Exchange will offer easier use for line-of-business employees and greater performance, reliability and security for cloud services and data center access than the public internet, Shultz said.

"If you look at the trends in terms of cloud adoption, what you really see is that companies are leveraging multicloud," Shultz said. "So, in many cases, they are using six or more cloud solutions—whether that's a large Fortune 500 company using AWS for certain applications and Microsoft Azure for other applications. They also could be using or ServiceNow, but in general, if you look at the Rightscale ["State of the Cloud 2016"] report, we're seeing six clouds as the norm for enterprises."

Use of Multiple Clouds a Clear Trend

VMware and other IT software and service providers are also seeing the multicloud trend growing in a big way and are providing new platforms to handle it.

Digital Realty is also seeing hybrid cloud adoption growing by a whopping 71 percent this year, following a 58 percent increase in 2015, Shultz said.

"What this really means is that enterprises need a way to consume multiple clouds and to create hybrid cloud architectures and applications. This is what Service Exchange is for," Shultz said.

Service Exchange will be made available through a global partnership between Digital Realty and Megaport Limited's U.S. subsidiary, which provides the elastic, SDN-based Ethernet fabric that enables interconnection between cloud providers and Digital Realty customers, Shultz said.

Rolling Out Widely in 2017

Service Exchange will be available in 24 data centers across 15 markets by midyear 2017, beginning with Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Ashburn, Va., in the fourth quarter of 2016. Service Exchange will be available in London and Phoenix in the first quarter of 2017, and in Amsterdam, Dublin, Miami, Singapore and Portland in the second quarter of 2017.

For more information, go here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...