Google Now Lets Enterprises Connect Directly To Its Data Centers

At its Cloud Platform Live event today, Google announced Google Cloud Interconnect, an interesting new service for businesses that want to make sure that they get the fastest possible connection to their customers. With Cloud Interconnect, Google Cloud Platform users can now choose among three new connectivity options: direct peering; carrier interconnect; and VPN connectivity. Google says the service is meant to give its Cloud Platform customers the benefits of the company’s fiber network.

With direct peering, for example, developers can get a blazingly fast connection directly to Google’s servers in over 70 points of presence in 33 countries. With direct connect, customers can establish their own private links to Google without using an intermediary network.

With carrier interconnect, on the other hand, businesses can now connect to Google through 7 carrier partners (Verizon, Equinix, IX Reach, Level 3, TATA Communications, Telx and Zayo). Equinix, for example, will offer businesses up to a 10Gb connection to Google’s cloud services through its Cloud Exchange platform in 15 markets. Why does this matter? Many enterprises that want to move to the cloud want to be able to use these services similar to how they use their on-premise servers. To do that, they need a private network with a very fast connection to the cloud provider’s data centers and that’s what Google now offers them.

As Gartner analyst Lydia Leong told me earlier today, she believes that this is a “is a key feature not just for mid-market and enterprise customers, but also for large-scale cloud-native companies who may want to more directly manage their bandwidth providers.”

Only a few weeks ago, Google’s CTO of corporate networks Geng Lin called on carriers and cloud providers to cooperate more closely to deliver better network performance for enterprise users. With that, he was clearly setting the stage for today’s announcement.

It’s worth noting that this concept isn’t new. Amazon’s AWS platform offers Direct Connect with the help of a very wide range of partners, as does Microsoft with Azure ExpressRoute.

VPN connectivity, of course, isn’t so much about speed as it is about security. With this new option, which will launch next month, Google Cloud Platform users will be able to set up their own secure lines to Google.