TierPoint Offers AWS Direct Connect And Highlights The Hybrid IT Opportunity For Partners

Cloud and manage services provider TierPoint is a newly-minted member of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network: The company is giving partners and end customers dedicated network connectivity to the popular public cloud provider via its Seattle-based data center.

TierPoint, similar to service providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, is offering AWS Direct Connect as an answer to customer demand for hybrid cloud solutions. Businesses are moving more workloads to the public cloud, but still require security, reliability and performance, according to Shea Long, TierPoint's senior vice president of products.

AWS Direct Connect offers a private and low latency network connection to reach AWS cloud services. TierPoint's channel partners can offer AWS Direct Connect to business customers relying on AWS as a new, monthly recurring revenue stream, Long said.

[Related: TierPoint Doubles Down On Data Center Strategy, Aims To Expand Cloud Services, Partner Revenues]

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St. Louis-based TierPoint and its channel partners want to be able to support client workloads no matter what infrastructure that workload is put in, Long said. Many businesses want to take advantage of a hyperscale cloud platform along with an enterprise-class cloud – like the TierPoint platform -- but don’t have the resources necessary to manage their cloud strategies.

"Being able to manage applications and workloads in AWS … and having the network to connect the two environments is a key part of our hybrid IT story," he said.

The latest offering will also give partners another tool to better manage and orchestrate their clients' multi-cloud environments, Long said.

"AWS Direct Connect allows channel partners to sell a more robust hybrid IT offering," he said. "It's very difficult for a channel partner to knit these kinds of solutions together by themselves."

TierPoint isn't trying to compete against the cloud heavyweights, but instead is giving businesses the option to put workloads where they want, along with a layer of support, said Andrew Pryfogle, senior vice president of cloud transformation for Petaluma, Calif.-based Intelisys, a TierPoint partner.

"The big public clouds are do-it-yourself platforms, and for many companies putting critical apps in the cloud, they need help managing their disparate IT environments," Pryfogle said. "Announcements like this show that hybrid cloud is winning the day, and that is where we are seeing most of our cloud growth."

VMware and Amazon this month unveiled a new platform called VMware Cloud on AWS that eliminates the decision of whether to run a private or a public cloud for end customers. The offering allows VMware software-defined data center workloads to run natively on AWS. TierPoint, a VMware shop, currently has 39 data centers across 20 different U.S. markets and serves about 5,000 customers.

The VMWare-AWS partnership lets TierPoint customers with workloads running in TierPoint data centers on VMware and move those workloads into AWS without having to rewrite applications, Long said.

"Direct Connect is really one of the enablers of this partnership because businesses need connectivity between their legacy environments and AWS if they need to move [workloads] around," he added.

While Seattle is the first TierPoint data center to offer AWS Direct Connect to partners and customers in the region, the provider intends to roll availability out to its East Coast and Midwest data center locations, Long said.

"In a matter of weeks, we are going to have the ability to access that Direct Connect access point across our backbone that connects all of our data centers together."