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    Sungard AS X Megaport: Solving the cloud connectivity challenge

    December 3, 2020

    IT departments face the twin challenges of optimising cloud use while managing the rising demands on application performance. A new partnership, which pairs Megaport’s Software-Defined Cloud Interconnection (SDCI) capabilities with Sungard AS’ data centers around the globe, now helps enterprises tackle both challenges.

     

    In this episode of IT Availability Now, Justin Lelacheur, Senior Director of Product Strategy at Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS), and Peter Gallagher, Director of Data Centre Partnerships at Megaport, come together to discuss their new partnership. Learn:

    • How this partnership helps enterprises streamline their hybrid IT and multicloud landscape
    • How Sungard AS’ Connected Infrastructure Hubs address cloud optimisation and application performance
    • How Megaport’s Software-Defined Network stands out from traditional models

    Brian Fawcett is a Senior Manager of Global Sales Engagement at Sungard AS. With over 15 years of experience in a range of industries, he specialises in forming enterprise-wide global talent and learning development programmes. Brian has enriched corporate learning culture by matching organisational vision and core values to curricula, leading to application and impact.

    Justin Lelacheur is Senior Director of Product Strategy in Services Product Management for Sungard Availability Services. A 20-year veteran of the IT industry and a certified Amazon Web Services Cloud Practitioner, Justin holds a patent for Fibre-based Distributed Data Centre Architecture.

    Peter Gallagher is Megaport's Director for Data Centre Partnerships. With over 20 years of experience in the technology sector, Peter has delivered top line revenue growth by creating high performing teams across the U.S. and Asia. Peter and his team are focused on enabling the success of Megaport’s partners, with a consultative approach to solve digital transformation challenges across industry verticals.

    The full transcript of this episode is available below.

    BRIAN FAWCETT (BF): Optimising cloud use is among organisations’ top priorities, and managing the rising demands on application performance has quickly become an issue for IT departments. Now, a new partnership aims to address both. I’m your host, Brian Fawcett, and this is IT Availability Now, the show that tells storeys of business resilience from the people who keep the digital world available.

    Sungard Availability Services recently partnered with Megaport to bring Software-Defined Cloud Interconnection (SDCI) capabilities to Sungard AS’ data centres around the globe. These premier data centres, deemed Connected Infrastructure Hubs, help organisations to further optimise application performance by streamlining their hybrid IT and multicloud landscape. Today we’re talking to two of the people behind this new partnership: Justin Lelacheur, Senior Director of Product Strategy at Sungard AS, and Peter Gallagher, Director of Data Centre Partnerships at Megaport. They’ll share what this new partnership means for enterprises, including how it can lower latency and cloud costs while delivering the reliability, security, and flexibility organisations require. Justin and Peter, welcome to the show.

    JUSTIN LELACHEUR (JL): Appreciate you having me. Thank you.

    BF: So Justin let’s start with you. Could you start with a quick overview of what this partnership entails? 

    JL: Yeah, so, principally as we think about the partnership, it brings us the software-defined cloud interconnection capabilities across Sungard AS data centres in both Europe and North America. But as we think about that, really what it enables our connected infrastructure hubs to do is to provide a secure on-demand and scalable connectivity across some of the world's leading cloud providers. Additionally, connecting carrier hotels and other top tier data centres around the world so really what these are enabling us to do is to support our customers hybrid and multicloud workloads.

    BF: Why did Sungard AS and Megaport partner to address cloud optimisation and application performance?

    JL: So, enterprises today are operating in some very complex and diverse conditions so as we think about the application landscape it's highly fragmented. We have private cloud, we have public cloud, we have multicloud. The Flexera 2020 State of the Cloud Report found 87% of organisations have a hybrid cloud strategy, so essentially nine out of 10, with 93% having multicloud. So, having said all of that, it's very important, it's a very diverse landscape. So to meet these customer demands and to provide the performance that they're looking for, having this software-defined cloud interconnection capability was really important to deliver to our customers.

    BF: So, Justin, how does this new partnership address those needs and what does it enable businesses to do now that they couldn’t before?

    JL: So we often go back to the optimise application performance so that's really as we think about, you know, this high speed private connectivity between your cloud environments, it really is about that performance capability, as well as the security and the optimisation that you're looking for there. Customers can configure on-demand connections from any number of cloud service providers through a very simple point and click interface so it provides a cloud like experience that our customers have become expectant of. So having that performance and that low latency connectivity really satisfies and streamlines the hybrid IT and multicloud landscape.

    BF: What made Megaport the ideal partner for all this? 

    JL: Well, first and foremost Megaport leads the industry in these types of software-defined cloud interconnections so this is really what Megaport has come to be known for and helped define across the marketplace so partnering with the leading cloud provider only made sense. But marrying Megaport’s capabilities with Sungard AS’ expertise infrastructure, cloud, recovery and workplace solutions was just a natural fit for us and it's been a great partnership. So gaining that kind of connectivity and flexibility that they provide and that cloud-like network experience just really hit on all the key points that our customers were looking for.

    BF: Now, a big component of this partnership is Megaport’s Software-Defined Network. Peter, can you talk more about this and the role it plays in application performance?

    PETER GALLAGHER (PG): First of all, we're just really excited about the partnership with Sungard AS. I mean, as Justin mentioned, you guys are the industry leaders in disaster recovery, the infrastructure cloud, and we're really excited about this. But to answer the question, we were founded back in 2013 to solve a problem. We saw that public and private cloud with the adoption of it was really proliferating across the entire industry. The problem is the traditional conductivity models to consume those services really became a barrier to those enterprises that were trying to recognise that same benefit. We set out to design and construct a purpose-built network on a global scale that would provide two things: flexibility and choice. So what does that actually mean for the application performance? Well, Sungard AS’ customers now have access to the greatest accumulation of cloud on-ramps globally, not only for major public clouds, but also a diverse ecosystem of service providers via our marketplace. All over a secure latency optimised dedicated network that provides consistent performance, not only for the public cloud workloads, but also to enable on-demand connectivity between customers deployments within centralised facilities. The ecosystem has grown to over 700 global locations, over 180 cloud on-ramps and continues to grow. At the end of the day, now all our partners have the choice to connect to where you need, when you need and for however long you need.

    BF: Great. Thanks, Peter, for going through all that. Justin, what are some other examples of connectivity scenarios that the Sungard AS-Megaport partnership now addresses?

    JL: One of the key connectivity use cases we see is really between Sungard AS data centres. So, if we look at customers that are deploying a private cloud environment - let's say between Sungard AS in Alpharetta, Georgia and connecting into our office in New Jersey - what this would enable a customer to do is to log into the Megaport portal, be able to create the virtual connection between Georgia and New Jersey and be able to do all of that in a minute or less. So having that cloud-like connectivity experience and being able to rapidly provision that is a good one. Another connectivity use case we see a lot of is that cloud to cloud connectivity so where a customer is connecting between two different cloud service providers or needing to connect a Sungard AS data centre with multiple clouds. If we look at the Megaport Cloud Router solution as an example, what that enables customers to do is actually route traffic between let's say an AWS and an Azure without having to bring the traffic all the way back to the data centre, so that's a really powerful capability for our customers to be able to do that.

    BF: And how do companies provision those connections, keeping in mind latency and networking costs?

    JL: Megaport cloud-on ramps - they have a physical handoff point from Megaport to the cloud service providers. So these are the relationships and the interconnectivity that’s done privately between Megaport and those providers, and bringing that backbone back into all of these different data centres. So that connectivity is really that core competency, right. Going to the cloud service providers to their data centres, creating a converged backbone infrastructure, software-defined interconnection all the way back into Sungard AS data centre. 

    PG: I think, Justin, even on top of that point is how the end user actually consumes it. I mean that's kind of where we differentiate. A customer just has to go to the portal, register as a new user, collect some relevant information, and they're up and running. The system automatically generates the LOA that you hand to the Sungard AS team and they physically cross connect the board up for you. And then from there, it's as simple as how much bandwidth do you need? Where do you want to go? Then just point and click and the system has you up and running in less than a minute like Justin said.

    BF: Peter, that raises another question. How does Megaport’s model of connectivity compare with traditional models?

    PG:It's really pretty different. I mean we were founded to solve a single problem, right? And the traditional connectivity solution, as we've all experienced, kind of goes like this. There's a long sales cycle, you know, you get a bunch of options handed to you that are generally multi-year contract base, which, for an enterprise, will start an internal approval process that can be pretty lengthy, and once you've done all that generally you're still waiting 90 days to consume those services. And the question we always ask is if I can migrate a critical workload from my private cloud to a public cloud and vice versa on demand, the last thing I really want to do is negate that benefit by waiting for connectivity to be delivered. So, this is where we kind of flipped the model on its head. We said, all right we're going to go and deploy our network out to all these locations ahead of time, and that way we can offer the customer the ability to innovate and try new things. Our business model is built on the ability to provide flexibility to our customers. If you need 10 gig of bandwidth to New York for an hour, that's fine. If you need one gig of bandwidth to Paris for a week, that's fine. If you want to shift between Paris and New York, that's fine as well. Just make the changes all in real time on the portal and you only have to pay for what you need. Not only does that help the demands of an innovative technical team, but it also meets the needs of a CTO or CIO by being able to control the cost and deploy that kind of activity where it's needed, when it's needed.

    BF: Well that makes it pretty clear. By combining Sungard AS’ world-class expertise in infrastructure, cloud, recovery and workplace solutions, with Megaport’s industry-leading network capabilities, enterprises gain the cloud-like network experience they need.  That includes connectivity to the world’s leading cloud providers, global reach, enhanced security, and maximum flexibility. Most important, connections are made within seconds instead of days or weeks, so enterprises can reliably meet the growing demands on applications, network architecture and performance while accelerating growth. Justin and Peter, thanks for joining us today.

    JL: It was a pleasure, Brian.

    PG: Thanks.

    BF: Justin Lelacheur is Senior Director of Product Strategy at Sungard Availability Services. Peter Gallagher is Director of Data Centre Partnerships at Megaport. You can find the show notes for this episode at SungardAS.com/ITAvailabilityNow. Please subscribe to the show on your podcast platform of choice to get new episodes as soon as they’re available. IT Availability Now is a production of Sungard Availability Services. I’m your host, Brian Fawcett, and until next time, stay available.

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