Cogeco Peer 1 offers direct connection to Microsoft Azure

One of the biggest reservations CIOs have to cloud services is security, which is why so many insist on keeping certain data behind the corporate firewall.

Microsoft’s way to meet that for its Azure cloud services is to offer what it calls ExpressRoute, which creates a private connection between Microsoft datacenters and infrastructure on a customer’s premise or in a co-location facility.

The latest Canadian provider to offer that service is Cogeco Peer1, the data centre arm of Montreal-based cableco Cogeco Communications.

“Instead of going to the public Internet for Azure, organizations can use our private managed and secure fibre network, said Bertrand Labelle, the company’s vice-president of marketing.

Cogeco Peer 1 has 17 data centers and more than 50 points-of-presence in North America and Europe. Its network reaches 1,800 buildings in Ontario and Quebec. The provider began reselling Azure, Office 365 and other Microsoft services in June. The ExpressRoute service allows customers to directly connect to them.

ExpressRoute is being offered as another alternative for organizations that want to support mission-critical Microsoft business applications, including data backup and recovery, Labelle said. His said company’s fibre network also offers higher throughput and lower latency connectivity to the Microsoft cloud –including the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics 365 offerings — than through the public Internet.

Labelle didn’t have pricing details but said Microsoft sets the pricing for ExpressRoute, while Cogeco offers integration services.

Target customers are organizations that already subscribe to Office 365 or other Azure services, and companies that need a direct connection to Cogeco Peer 1 data centres.

“It is great to see companies like Cogeco Peer 1 use their national and global capabilities to help customers experience better business success through the adoption of the Microsoft Cloud in Canada,” Microsoft Canada president Janet Kennedy said in a statement. “By combining their own hybrid offerings with Microsoft Canadian data centres Azure and ExpressRoute services, CogecoPeer 1 is helping to ensure that customers’ Canadian data residency and compliance needs are met.”

Other Canadian ExpressRoute providers are Cologix Inc. in Montreal and Toronto, and Zayo Group in Toronto.

In March Microsoft announced it was expanding its data centres in Toronto and Quebec City so it could offer Azure services here for CIOs in the public and private sectors concerned about data residency.

Cogeco Peer 1 was created by the 2012 acquisition of Peer 1 Networks.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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