In a move to boost their market share for cloud services, Exponential-e have re-branded their flagship Dedicated Internet Access service as Smart Internet.
Stepping up the pressure on other business focused ISPs and Carriers, Exponential-e are pushing ahead with forging partnerships with storage, VoIP and security cloud providers, as well as launching their own cloud services, which can be accessed directly through a Smart Internet (fibre based Internet leased line) connection.
The main differentiator for Smart Internet is that the cloud provider is connected to directly via a dedicated Layer 2 Ethernet VLAN, rather than through the Internet (Layer 3) which would be the norm for any provider just offering Internet access.
According to Exponential-e, accessing the cloud at Ethernet (Layer 2) compared to through the Internet (Layer 3) gives users better control (because you can prioritise the traffic of each VLAN), more flexibility (in that you can scale your connectivity as your cloud services required) and assured latency (in that there is a direct connection from your premises into the cloud).
One particularly interesting cloud service that Exponential-e can enable direct to is the Amazon Web Services (AWS). Exponential-e is an approved AWS Direct Connect Solution Provider and have a direct connection into the AWS fabric. This may be of interest to businesses already using AWS, but struggling with their connectivity. One common complaint we hear of, especially when it comes to using AWS for storage, is that uploading large amounts of data can be frustrating, especially so if using a broadband service. Exponential-e are very keen to target this market, positioning Smart Internet as a perfect platform for reliable and direct uploads into AWS, as well as for connectivity to other cloud services.
Great, I hear you sigh, but how much does it cost? Well, it seems Exponential-e are as competitive on price as ever, with no installation charges and (in our opinion) the best rates in UK for 10Mbps, 25Mbps, 50Mbps and 100Mbps dedicated Internet access over fibre.
My prediction for 2013 is that there will be a lot of noise in the market about cloud enabled services bundled with dedicated Internet access services. It will be interesting to see how Exponential-e’s competitors react, but it seems the future is about to get very cloudy in the market for UK fibre based Internet access.