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Equinix, Tier 3 Tackle Public Cloud Worries

An infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider, Tier 3, is partnering with data center services provider Equinix to enable enterprises to run a private cloud computing environment on a public cloud service. The idea is to help customers take advantage of the cost efficiency and flexibility offered by public cloud computing, while protecting them from worries about multitenancy and security that give so many enterprises pause.

Equinix brings to the table its Platform Equinix services portfolio that delivers security, scalability, application performance optimization and support of multiple options for connections to Tier 1, 2 or 3 networks, as well as to mobile, Ethernet and fiber-optic networks, says Chris Sharp, general manager of the cloud and content division at Equinix.

"We’re a network-neutral colocation provider and, essentially, what that means to the enterprise customer is that we provide an environment where they can pick and choose different types of cloud service providers such as Tier 3" or Amazon Web Services (AWS), he says.

Equinix has a total 6 million square feet of data center capacity to serve enterprise customers in 38 markets in 13 countries spanning five continents, Sharp says. "So what that means to the enterprise customer is that they can access cloud services in the market that’s most important for them."

What Tier 3 brings to the table are public cloud must-haves such as high availability and business continuity. At the same time, it offers security features in isolated environments for each customer. Its IaaS offerings are delivered from within Equinix’s data centers, says Adam Wray, president and CEO of Tier 3.

"Equinix brings us the performance and security on their platform within their data centers,” Wray says. “By partnering up with Equinix, we get the best of all worlds for enterprises to be able to take advantage of our private cloud experience, even though they're doing it in a multitenant environment that is actually a shared [public cloud] environment."

Tier 3 was placed in the Niche Players quadrant in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report for Public Cloud Infrastructure as a Service vendors, released Dec. 8, 2011. It is in a very crowded field, with eight other smaller players including Carpathia Hosting, Datapipe and Tata Communications. The Leaders quadrant, with more established, larger players, includes AWS, Terremark (now part of Verizon), Savvis and CSC.

Gartner says Tier 3 has "a good set of features and a well-engineered platform" and that it supports VMware vCloud Director from the market-leading virtualization vendor. Gartner also says it "is continuously releasing new capabilities."

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