BT’s global services division has developed a “Cloud of Clouds” ecosystem that corrals services including Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Helion for IP services, and Equinix data centers.
Cloud of Clouds (which has me humming a familiar Christmas song) uses Equinix data centers at 11 global locations in which BT has connected its MPLS network. BT then partners with Microsoft and AWS.
For example, it uses Azure ExpressRoute, which lets enterprises create private connections with Azure data centers. Those customers can then use Office 365 without having to use the public Internet.
“We connect their private VPN with an instance of Office 365 at the location where Microsoft is hosting it so customers have secure access,” says Keith Langridge, VP of network services at BT.
The point is to enable BT’s large customers to connect easily and securely to the applications they need, independently of where they are hosted.
“We are working with Cisco and engaged in how we can link into Intercloud,” says Langridge. “Cisco’s is a hardware- and software-based approach. Our approach is a network-based approach. We’re already connected around the world.”
BT announced this week that as part of its Cloud of Clouds, it’s deploying virtual instances of Riverbed’s Steelhead application acceleration technology in the core of its global network.
“We’re putting Riverbed in the points of presence,” says Langridge. He adds that BT has been working with Riverbed for many years on managed performance improvement. Those customers who are already using Riverbed’s services and have a Riverbed device are the “people who can most benefit” to optimize their applications, he says.
Using network functions virtualization (NFV), the new service will help customers reduce latency and optimize bandwidth usage as well as increase performance and control of their cloud-based applications.