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How Microsoft ExpressRoute Boosts Data Center Connectivity

By: Ernest Sampera on February 14, 2019

As a pioneer in cloud computing, Microsoft’s Azure service continues to deliver innovative new solutions that help customers compete more effectively in the increasingly crowded online world. One of these latest innovations is Azure ExpressRoute connectivity. Designed specifically for hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure, ExpressRoute allows Microsoft customers to establish private, high-throughput connections into Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365 that actually bypass the public internet. These connections essentially extend an organization’s private cloud into Microsoft’s cloud.

In June of 2018, vXchnge announced that Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute would become available to customers in its Austin, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and St. Louis data centers. While a dedicated ExpressRoute connection can boost data center connectivity in a number of ways, here are a few of the most important reasons why it can make a difference for Microsoft cloud users:

Reduced Latency

Businesses that rely on cloud computing to deliver services don’t just want faster performance; they need it. With customers demanding faster and more responsive services than ever before, companies can afford to let low speeds and poor accessibility undermine their efforts to meet those needs. Latency refers to the amount of time, often measured in mere milliseconds, it takes for a piece of data to travel from its point of origin to its destination. When latency is low, it means data moves quickly and smoothly; when it’s high, services lag and become unresponsive. Azure ExpressRoute combats latency by establishing a direct connection between the data center environment and Microsoft’s network. This direct connection cuts down on the unnecessary detours imposed by public internet connections to deliver much faster access and performance.

Improve Uptime

Server downtime can have catastrophic consequences on an organization, regardless of its size, success, or reputation. While most companies are concerned about downtime as it impacts their servers, they often don’t think about a far more common problem that results from being cut off from cloud services they depend on. If a company utilizes Microsoft Azure for its computing workloads, any situation that disconnects them from that service could be potentially disastrous. With normal connections running through the public internet via ISPs, there are many opportunities for a small failure to cause a hiccup in services. By connecting directly to Microsoft through Azure ExpressRoute, ISP uptime is removed from the equation, eliminating a potential source of downtime (and, incidentally, one that would not be covered by Microsoft’s SLA). Direct connections allow companies to keep right on working even when other providers might not be able to maintain connectivity.

Enhanced Security

For most organizations today, data security is everything. A single data breach can not only inflict serious financial damages upon a company, but also cause long-term damage to its reputation in the public eye. Even though data rarely travels over the internet without some form of encryption protection, simply exposing it in a public connection creates the possibility of that data being compromised in some way. With an Azure ExpressRoute connection, however, data travels directly to and from the customer’s secure data center private cloud and Microsoft’s cloud network. Since the connection is direct, it’s never exposed to the public internet. This makes the traditional hybrid or multi-cloud deployment even more effective than usual because data rarely leaves a secure environment. For organizations looking for peace of mind that also complies with many regulatory standards, ExpressRoute offers tremendous reassurances.

Better Integration

Data center IT infrastructure can get rather complicated. With so many possible solutions and options available to colocation customers, there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong, especially when multiple, often conflicting services are being integrated. Hybrid and multi-cloud deployments offer some advantages in this regard, but even they are ultimately forced to deal with potentially sub-par connectivity options in their data center. Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute is unique because it provides near seamless integration between private, customer clouds and Microsoft’s own cloud network. Since the solution is purpose-built and direct, it’s less likely to encounter implementation problems and will generally perform more effectively than connections over a conventional ISP connection.

For data center customers utilizing Microsoft cloud computing services, be it at the platform or software level, Azure ExpressRoute provides the safest, most efficient, and most reliable method for establishing connections between their networks. As part of a hybrid or multi-cloud environment connecting a private and public cloud, ExpressRoute has the potential to give companies a significant advantage in an era when speed and reliability are key brand differentiators.

Through its partnership with Megaport in select data center markets, vXchnge is excited to offer Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute connections to customers and channel partners. To find out more about how a direct Azure cloud connection can transform your business, contact us today.

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