FourSquare checks in to Equinix hybrid cloud to cut AWS spend

Phil Wainewright Profile picture for user pwainewright April 30, 2014
Equinix Cloud Exchange service automates multi-cloud connectivity from private infrasturucture into AWS, Azure and other public clouds

Feature pic © Nmedia -
Global data center and interconnect provider Equinix today launched the Equinix Cloud Exchange to make it easier for enterprises to manage hybrid cloud environments that combine public and private cloud resources. The Cloud Exchange builds on Equinix' direct connections to public clouds at Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and other cloud service providers to connect public and private infrastructure at speeds of 1 gigabit and 10 gigabits per second.

Reference customer Foursquare has used the direct connect capability to migrate from an all-Amazon infrastructure to add private cloud resources that host purpose-built database clusters such as mongoDB and a Hadoop cluster for big data analytics. The custom private cloud server infrastructure overcomes limits in transaction processing capacity, network transmission speed and disk performance Foursquare had encountered in AWS.

While continuing to use the Amazon public cloud for data warehousing and spikes in computing workloads, Foursquare is achieving up to five times the performance in its private cloud, according to Equinix VP for cloud innovation Chris Sharp. It is accommodating twice the workload for the same cost as it was spending on AWS, and synchronizes its dataset of more than 6TB from AWS to its private cloud in just six hours overnight. Using a normal public Internet connection the same transfer would take days.

Elastic hybrid cloud

Equinix cloud exchange
The Cloud Exchange brings these capabilities into a highly automated, multi-cloud environment that enables a truly elastic hybrid cloud model, Sharp told me.

"In the old world you used to get a cross-connect. In this new world it's one-to-many and you can map all these multiple resources together in a one-to-many way."

It's no coincidence that this announcement follows just a few days after the launch of the ExpressRoute direct connection to Microsoft's Azure cloud service, Sharp confirmed:

"Having that private access into these public clouds was a critical element in bringing this to market. It really creates a different consumption model on top of the switch fabric ..."

"We wanted to make sure that Microsoft would be supportive of the environment. It was a critical element to make sure people understood this was not just another cloud exchange, that it had the right partners with the right metrics to support the customers coming on board."

In addition to the direct connections to multiple public clouds, Equinix has built an automated infrastructure in partnership with API specialist Apigee to normalize the different way in which each cloud provider operates. Some enterprises will access the exchange service via a portal, others will work with an Equinix SDK to build it into their own automated processes. This intelligent connectivity represents a significant investment of intellectual property by Equinix, said Sharp:

"This is the most advanced intelligent interconnectivity model we've launched at Equinix.

"To do that at a 1 gig or a 10 gigabit level is a game changer."

Image credit: Mobile business pic © Nmedia -; Cloud Exchange diagram courtesy of Equinix.

A grey colored placeholder image