Verizon, Equinix Promote Hybrid IT By Putting Data Center, Network And Security Services On One Menu

After selling off its cloud hosting and data center business to Equinix in 2016, Verizon Enterprise Solutions is partnering with the global data center operator to offer hybrid cloud solutions to business customers.

Verizon will resell Equinix's co-location and interconnection services, giving companies access to both Equinix's data center offerings, and Verizon’s security, network, and advanced communications services.

Verizon is working on a rollout plan for the channel, according to a company spokesperson. The Equinix services will be available through Verizon's direct sales force, for now.

[Related: Verizon Gets Out Of Data Center Business, Sells Latin, North American Assets To Equinix For $3.6B]

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The close-knit relationship between the two providers will allow Verizon to continue to offer data center services without owning the physical assets, while Equinix will have access to Verizon's sales and managed services teams.

’This agreement provides customers with fully-integrated network, security and data center services designed to support their IT transformation,’ Jim Duncan, Verizon's vice president of global advanced solutions said in a statement. ’Our network provides IT continuity across current, and future IT strategies – cloud migrations and the like – and Equinix provides an interconnection point to leading cloud platforms for that transformation.’

Equinix said that the collaboration with Verizon would give it access to more customers. Business clients that partner with both Verizon and Equinix will benefit from global scale, as well as direct, private access to the major cloud players, such as AWS and Microsoft Azure. The latter is especially appealing to businesses that have multi-cloud, or hybrid IT environments, Equinix said.

"We are seeing an increasing demand for hybrid solutions from our channel partners, driven by the need to access content and applications even quicker at the edge," said Ian Kieninger, co-founder and CEO of Avant. "Partnerships like this one provide more options for channel partners to meet the needs of customers demanding well-integrated IT solutions."

Avant, a master agent that specializes in cloud and colocation services, was named Equinix's top partner in 2016. The Chicago-based company also recently achieved Platinum status within Verizon's partner program, and believes that interconnection between cloud providers and customer infrastructure is a huge growth area for data center providers and network carriers alike.

Verizon acquired Terremark's data center business in 2011. Following months of speculation that the carrier would be following in the footsteps of competitors Windstream and CenturyLink who left the data center business after selling its physical assets, Verizon sold its data center business to Equinix for $3.6 billion in December.

Kieninger said that by leaving the data center business, Verizon could focus on value-added services, including security, cloud, and SD-WAN. The expanded partnership between Verizon and Equinix will let Verizon offer customers a full suite of services at key interconnection points across the globe, he added.

The newly-minted agreement builds on the relationship that Verizon and Equinix announced in 2015. Verizon has offered its Secure Cloud Interconnect services -- an SDN-based technology that lets businesses connect to and manage their cloud environments securely -- within a number of Equinix's global data centers.