HDS, Equinix tie-up for global hybrid cloud deal

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HDS, Equinix tie-up for global hybrid cloud deal

Storage giant accepts inevitability of cloud.

Hitachi Data Systems and Equinix have signed a partnership in which the Japanese IT infrastructure vendor will offer large enterprise customers a managed compute service from within Equinix’s global network of co-lo data centres.

HDS - predominantly an enterprise storage vendor - has for the last four years built an x86 server business and a managed services operation in Australia to prepare for today’s announcement.

The partnership offers a ‘hybrid cloud’ option for enterprise customers that - whether for regulatory or internal governance reasons - wish to deploy applications on dedicated servers, with options available for low-latency connections to public cloud services from within the same facility.

Equinix’s global network of data centres offers direct fibre connections to commodity public clouds via Amazon’s Direct Connect Service, Microsoft’s ExpressRoute and others. The company has invested in several facilities in Sydney and more recently its first data centre in Melbourne.

Customers of the service can either buy their own HDS hardware and pay maintenance for it, buy a minimum commitment to using HDS hardware and pay extra for incremental upgrades (FlexBuy), or a fully managed service under which HDS will own the equipment from which the service is offered.

In any case, the service barely fits the definition of cloud in that it is not multitenant. HDS will only install its first compute chassis or array in Equinix when its first customer signs up.

“We are targeting the use case for customers that from a legislative and regulatory perspective don't want their core applications on shared infrastructure,” said Adrian De Luca, HDS' APAC CTO.

The service does, however, allow large multinationals to consider “getting out of the data centre business,” he said.

The customer might deploy its ERP system on HDS tin hosted at Equinix, but lean on public cloud services for backup and archive, for example.

HDS’ managed service customers will be supported remotely from operations centres in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia, Europe and the United States for basic operational tasks like provisioning, and supported by local technical account managers and service managers on the ground in each Equinix data centre, he said.

The company will provide the service as a single point of procurement and support for all services connected within the Equinix facility. It will charge customers for setting up connections to public cloud providers from the HDS tin, but De Luca said it wouldn’t mark up the price of using those cloud providers.

“We are merely facilitating the commercial agreements and technical connection,” he said.

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