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Using RightScale and Data Centers to Connect the Clouds

If your organization maintains a traditional in-house data center, your local users probably get great performance, but what about your branch offices or your remote users, and what about users with mobile devices? Quality of experience is the real measure of how you're performing, according to Ephraim Baron, director of enterprise cloud solutions at Equinix, and Jeff Dickey, senior vice president of cloud solutions at Redapt. At RightScale Compute last month, the two presented a session on how to improve cloud performance while reducing costs by leveraging the resources of a global data center provider. 


RightScale Compute presentation

Baron said that as a former IT staffer, it used to be his job to tell users "no." Now, with the public cloud, a user such as a developer who needs a high-end server for a two-month project can bypass IT to get the resources he needs. He can deploy his infrastructure quickly, without needing to gain approval for capital expenditures.

That's a problem for the IT department, which may fight a losing battle against "shadow IT" within the organization, and an issue for finance, which may be faced with high bills for unmonitored cloud usage.

The best of both worlds would be the ability to scale and manage applications from the data center to the cloud, Dickey suggested. The model we're advocating, Baron said, is one where you own the base, keep control over your configuration, and use the public cloud to flexibly scale up when your needs spike. Dickey said Redapt is a data center reseller and solution provider that has had a cloud practice for four years. It puts together reference architectures for various cloud platforms, all of which integrate RightScale for cloud management. Its private clouds are hosted by Equinix, which Baron said is the world's largest provider of carrier-neutral data center services. Redapt can connect to more than 900 network providers and 300 cloud service providers from a hundred data centers worldwide. This hyper-local presence ties in with the point CoreSite COO Jarrett Appleby made in his talk at RightScale Compute on the data center as the on-ramp to the cloud - for low latency, put deployments at the edges, close to the users.

Redapt's team tweaks its reference architecture to suit individual customers' needs for secure, scalable private clouds. Dickey said hybrid clouds give organizations the advantages of agility, flexibility, and control while letting them scale and control costs. 

Also, like CoreSite’s Appleby, Baron cites the advantage of using multi-tenant data centers to cross-connect with partners. Such links are secure and fast, and since you don't pay a carrier, they're less expensive as well, as his chart indicates.

Cost of AWS vs. direct connect
Comparison of AWS data transfer costs

From the data center, you can install a direct connect to a private cloud, either at the data center or on your premises, and a cross connect to a public cloud provider, and manage your hybrid environment with RightScale enterprise cloud management.

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