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Digital Realty Introduces Service Exchange, A Platform Interconnecting Co-Location With Public Clouds

Joseph Tsidulko

Data center operator Digital Realty Thursday launched a service that offers MSPs and enterprise customers direct, private connections from its co-location facilities to major public cloud and telecom providers.

At its MarketplaceLive event in New York, the San Francisco-based company unveiled the Digital Realty Service Exchange, through which customers hosting workloads in several "connected campuses" can access cloud resources without traversing the public internet by leveraging Megaport software-defined networking infrastructure.

The market for virtual interconnect platforms facilitating hybrid cloud deployments is still nascent, and there's not much competition yet to steal market share from rivals, said Sean Iraca, Digital Realty's vice president of service enablement.

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"These are just enablement tools for our customers to help them drive adoption of cloud and use our technology differently," Iraca told CRN.

Digital Realty bulked up its footprint with the acquisition of Telx late last year, as well as eight data centers it bought earlier this year from Equinix as that company spun off some of the assets from its purchase of European provider Telecity.

Megaport provides the Ethernet fabric linking Digital Realty's data center infrastructure through APIs to Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform.

Service Exchange is expected to be generally available by Nov. 4, and will scale to 24 data centers in 15 regions by the second quarter of the next fiscal year, according to Iraca.

Digital Realty operates more than 150 global facilities.

Later this year, the company will launch a formal channel program around the new offering, he told CRN.

On the front end, Digital Realty is offering partners a marketplace portal the company obtained through the Telx acquisition, giving partners a directory of assets and the ability to manage the cross-connected infrastructure, Iraca said.


"Infrastructure-wise, we've hardened all the edges and built in redundant switching fabric on the Megaport side," he told CRN.

Iraca said the proliferation of "edge nodes" closer to their users is significant as enterprises and MSPs look to manage latency, security and data sovereignty issues.

Those customers are "looking for ways to consume the network in the way they consume the cloud," he added. "This gives MSPs a more dynamic platform."

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