Youself Khalidi distinguished engineer at Microsoft

Youself Khalidi, distinguished engineer at Microsoft

Verizon, BT Join Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute Ecosystem

Among the first Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute partners are Verizon and BT. Both companies have signed on to provide a direct connection between their private networks and Azure data centers.

Microsoft (MSFT) is following suit when it comes to direct connections to its public cloud service. The company previewed back in February a direct connection service that would enable technology partners to connect private networks directly with Azure data centers, and now Microsoft has signed on both Verizon and BT to provide such a service to customers.

Under its "mobile first, cloud first" strategy, Microsoft is hoping to make it easier for customer to embrace its cloud computing technologies. And working with service provider partners seems to be one of the ways Microsoft is aiming to make that happen. In a move mirroring Amazon Direct Connect, Microsoft has launched Azure ExpressRoute and started bringing on partners.

Verizon and BT join existing partners AT&T, Equinix and Level 3.

"Together, we are not only bringing additional choice in cloud solutions to customers, but will also provide a more secure and reliable connectivity option for enterprise customers, reducing barriers for adoption of cloud computing and accelerating the growth of Microsoft Azure," wrote Yousef Khalidi, distinguished engineer at Microsoft, in a blog post.

The partnerships today should present an increase in Azure's capabilities and accessibility to end user customers.

The agreement with BT is an extension of an existing partnership, which will enable users of BT's IP Connect Virtual Private Network service to extend their existing corporate networks into Azure using ExpressRoute.

As for the partnership with Verizon, it coincides with the launch of Verizon Enterprise Solutions' Secure Cloud Interconnect service, enabling Verizon customers to connect to multiple cloud services such as the Verizon cloud and Azure.

Khalifi also hinted that there will soon be more news regarding ExpressRoute to report. Likely that means additional service providers signing on to the service, but we'll have to wait and see.

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