Equinix has been rolling out new partners for its Cloud Exchange all year, or at least all three quarters since it was introduced. But for the holiday season they saved the announcement that key player in the world of cloud computing has signed on: IBM.
IBM purchased SoftLayer almost a year and a half ago, vaulting itself into cloud computing by purchasing one of the sector's most dynamic challengers. SoftLayer's cloud services had already been available at Equinix via SoftLayer's Direct Link program, but yesterday's announcement puts them on the exchange itself across nine of the world's biggest cloud markets: Amsterdam, Chicago, Dallas, Paris, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Washington, D.C.
That will put them in a better position to be a part of the broader multi-cloud ecosystem that has begun to self-organize over the past year. The potential of mixing and matching various cloud technologies and network connectivity options to create best-of-breed enterprise services is quickly turning into one of 2015's key stories. And while enterprises of all sizes tend to be cautious about jumping on bandwagons of new technology too early, there are few that haven't noticed the tangible benefits already available to them. Yet despite its long legacy in IT, there's no way SoftLayer or any individual cloud provider can satisfy them all with a single cloud portfolio, and hence being a part of this sort of ecosystem is a no-brainer.
Equinix also announced a few enhancements to its Cloud Exchange, including API improvements that make it easier for service providers to use one interface. Getting the interface right is definitely at the top of the list of things necessary to implement this sort of thing.
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