Melbourne Interconnect

By August 13, 2021 No Comments

Ira Bailey | Senior Cloud Engineer at Kasna

Until a few weeks ago, the only public cloud provider in Australia that offered more than a single cloud region was Azure. But now Google Cloud has officially launched its Melbourne region and the Australian public cloud market is heating up.

With the hype about this new region still fresh, I thought I’d take a look at what it takes to connect customer data centres to AWS, Azure and GCP and compare some of the significant features and costs. But first, a quick detour on what you need to connect to the cloud!

The first step in connecting to a public cloud is via a Direct Interconnect at a co-location (Colo) facility for many enterprises. These are physical network links, often fibre optic, from company routers to network equipment managed by a cloud provider also hosted in the colo. If you don’t want to bear the cost of managing network gear, you can interconnect with a third party – called a ‘Partner Interconnect’.

A Direct Interconnect provides privacy and a reliable dedicated service often needed for Enterprises with security, scale and reliability requirements. They’re also the only kind of interconnect that supports speeds up to 100 Gbps.

For comparison, let’s look at the more common 10Gbps connection from a NEXTDC Melbourne colo facility to each major public cloud. Here’s a breakdown for each of the major clouds, with a modest 20TB of egress traffic per month:



2x Dedicated 10Gbps Direct Connect Ports ($2,225.68 x 2)
20 TB Outbound @ US$0.042/GB
Additional 10% for AWS Support

That’s all for AWS, as Direct Connect Gateways are free. In addition, dual ports protect from a single point of failure due to network equipment. 

Total monthly cost: $5,614



1x 10Gbps ExpressRoute Direct (Includes 2 Ports)
1x Global Reach Addon*
1x Premium ExpressRoute Circuit @ 10Gbps
1x Ultra Performance ExpressRoute Gateway (10Gbps)
20 TB Outbound @ $69/TB

The Global Reach Addon allows for on-prem traffic to route out of the region. As AWS and GCP allow connectivity to out-of-region VPCs for free, I’ve added this feature to the Azure list to maintain parity. Also should point out that the Melbourne region is considered Tier 2. It would be a bit cheaper to set up an interconnect in Sydney, which is classed and a Tier 1 region.

Total monthly cost: $23,874.95


Google Cloud

1x Direct Interconnect (Includes 2 Ports)
2x Interconnect VLAN Attachments @ US$73/mth
20 TB Outbound @ US$0.04/GB

As Cloud Routers are free, I haven’t included them.

Total monthly cost:  $3,566.14



So it looks like Google Cloud is the clear winner on monthly costs. But exactly how much more expensive are AWS and Azure, and what would you be saving over three years if you went with Google Cloud?

AWS is 57% higher, leading to an additional cost of $73,713 over three years. Azure, at 669% more than Google Cloud, leads to an additional charge of $731,117. That’s quite a chunk of any enterprise network budget.



But raw savings are not the only aspect where Google excels. A Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) is the critical component of how you connect your enterprise to the public cloud. By default, a Google Cloud VPC is global, with no peering, routing or gateways to set up, maintain or even pay for. A single firewall rule can apply instantly to a VPC that spans Google Cloud’s 27 regions. In other clouds you would need to create and manage firewall rules, network security groups, peering connections, gateways and routing for every region you want to deploy into. That’s a lot of complexity to manage, along with the additional cost and operational risk.

Google Cloud removes a lot of that complexity, drastically reducing the total cost of ownership by removing this overhead. I’d estimate the cost to run a global network in Google Cloud versus other major clouds is at least an order of magnitude cheaper.

If you want to be able to build a network that can seamlessly scale globally, is easy to manage and much cheaper than any other public cloud, you need to be on Google Cloud.


Need any help?

At Kasna, we love helping folks get the most out of Google Cloud. Reach out if you have any questions or attend one of our free training sessions where we talk about Google networking.