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Monday, July 15, 2024

LINX Launches Microsoft Peering Service for Private Cloud Access

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Skip the hoops and access the cloud! LINX & Microsoft unveil private cloud access for even small businesses. Fast, secure, direct – join the revolution.

Microsoft and the London Internet Exchange (LINX) expanded their partnership to offer the Microsoft Azure Peering Service (MAPS) in Northern Virginia, United States (NoVA). This move will provide enterprise customers private access to Microsoft’s cloud services.

With traditional peering, smaller enterprises and service providers often struggle to meet traffic or boundary requirements. “It might not be simple for them to get a direct peering relationship with Microsoft, so they have to rely on their service provider to have good connectivity,” LINX Product Manager Mike Hellers told SDxCentral.

But “the entry to this type of infrastructure is a lot simpler than maybe what they perceive,” LINX CTO Richard Petrie said. “There are a few obstacles to it, but that’s why Microsoft has chosen partners like us to help them. We can bridge that gap.”

Ideal for any organization that uses Microsoft services like Teams or Microsoft 365 – including those with only a few public IP addresses – LINX offers direct peering with Microsoft Azure that starts immediately. This is possible through direct, quality connections with the public-facing side of Microsoft’s network.

Securing direct peering

MAPS offers customers “the control that they need,” Hellers said. “There is nothing in between – no other service provided in between. It is a direct connection.”

That directness also lends itself to stringent cybersecurity. Though MAPS still relies on public internet routing to access the public, outside interface of Microsoft Azure, customer traffic “never falls back to routing across anybody else,” Hellers said. “Traffic never actually reaches the public internet. In the end, it stays in. It’s how the service is provided – separate from our peering platform. It’s our layer two platform that is only used for MAPS,” and “there is no intermediate provider,” he said.

Beyond the nature of direct peering, “LINX is a trusted partner,” Petrie said. “We have a very secure network. We have a very good reputation for security on our data infrastructure, and that same approach is applied worldwide.”

LINX only offers this type of direct peering into Microsoft Azure’s public cloud infrastructure. However, Hellers expects it’s “only a question of time before similar approaches” materialize from Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Initially launched in London and Manchester, the latest launch in NoVA brings this secure, direct connectivity to North America. However, LINX has been operating in the NoVA region for over a decade.

“We’re going through a network refresh,” Petrie said, citing new capabilities that improve the robustness of LINX’s network, automation features, and Virginia ownership cost. “That investment is happening parallel to these services,” he said. “It’s an active region for us; we’re keen to see that grow.”

The next step for LINX is raising awareness, Petrie said, and ensuring enterprises understand “they can come to companies like LINX and … get secure infrastructure into the Microsoft estate [much] easier today than they ever could before.”

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