Equinix seeks to revolutionize how enterprises connect digital infrastructure

Jan. 5, 2021
The Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric has been re-branded Equinix Fabric in recognition of the platform's expanded capabilities for use as a comprehensive IT interconnection method.

Equinix (NASDAQ: EQIX) announced in December 2020 that, through a series of transformative new capabilities offered on both the company's Equinix Fabric (formerly Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric) and Network Edge platforms, and significantly expanded network ecosystems, it has "revolutionized the way enterprises connect digital infrastructure."

By positioning its new Equinix Fabric as "the new standard for interconnecting digital infrastructure," Equinix says it seeks to empower digital leaders to build networks with the agility needed to respond to increasingly dynamic business environments.

The company said the Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric has been re-branded Equinix Fabric in recognition of the platform's expanded capabilities, signifying the pivotal shift in how the product has evolved from delivering cloud connectivity to now serving as the interconnection method for all types of IT infrastructure, and as the consumption mechanism for a wide range of virtualized IT services.

As explained by the company in a statement announcing this news:

Equinix Fabric is a software-defined interconnection service that allows any business to connect between its own distributed infrastructure and to any other company's infrastructure on Platform Equinix. With Equinix Fabric integration built into both Network Edge and Equinix Metal over the trusted Equinix platform, digital leaders can bring together all the right places, partners and possibilities to create the foundational infrastructure needed to succeed.

Currently, the company notes its Equinix Fabric platform supports approximately 27,500 customer connections, representing 32 percent year-over-year growth in the past year.

"With digital business growth driving the need for network optimization, enterprises and service providers require access to an agile infrastructure platform to create digital advantage," observes Bill Long, Senior Vice President, Core Product Management, Equinix. "As the world's digital infrastructure company, Equinix is meeting these critical needs by advancing our next-generation platform strategy to become the center of our customers' IT transformation efforts."

Long adds, "No longer just about cloud connectivity, Equinix Fabric is now the new standard interconnection approach for digital leaders on Platform Equinix. The product name change we've made further signifies the pivotal shift in how the Equinix Fabric capabilities have evolved."

The company notes that, in the past year, the Equinix Fabric platform has expanded into seven new markets including Bogotá, Canberra, Dubai, Hamburg, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro and Seoul, helping more global enterprises and service providers unlock greater value from Platform Equinix. With the addition of these new markets, Equinix Fabric is available today in 49 strategic metros across five continents including Amsterdam, Atlanta, Barcelona, Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Culpeper, Dallas, Denver, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Houston, Istanbul, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Manchester, Melbourne, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Osaka, Paris, Perth, São Paulo, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Sofia, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Warsaw, Washington, D.C. and Zurich. By the end of 2021, Equinix expects to have Equinix Fabric available in a total of 56 strategic markets, including Calgary, Kamloops, Montreal, Mumbai, Philadelphia, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

Equinix has also recently expanded the availability of its Network Edge platform to Seattle and Toronto, enabling more companies to modernize their networks and connect their digital supply chains "within minutes," the company contends. With the addition of these new markets, the company notes its Network Edge offering is available today in a total of 11 metros including Amsterdam, Chicago, Dallas, Frankfurt, London, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Sydney, and Washington, D.C. In 2021, Equinix expects to have Network Edge available in four additional markets including Hong Kong, Madrid, São Paulo and Tokyo.

As further explained by the company's statement announcing the platforms expansion:

Enterprises and service providers are now using Equinix Fabric as a single interconnection approach to connect between all their physical and virtual devices located within Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers and the world's largest digital infrastructure ecosystem. This includes connecting physical devices located within Equinix colocation, and automated bare metal servers available with Equinix Metal, with virtual devices such as routers, firewalls and SD-WAN gateways available on Network Edge, which help enterprises seamlessly bridge the distance between their distributed digital infrastructure.

Significantly expanding the size of the digital ecosystem accessible at software speed to Equinix Fabric customers, Equinix announced it is also launching a new capability that allows Equinix Fabric users to connect to any other customer on Platform Equinix. With this innovation, the company claims its Equinix Fabric customers "can expand their interconnection reach by more than 3x with the ability to connect to the more than 10,000 clouds, networks, partners, customers and rich ecosystems currently available on Platform Equinix."

The company's announcement added:

Transforming the way in which industry-leading network service providers can distribute networking services in the future, Equinix has expanded automated access to network providers via Equinix Fabric. With this enhancement, providers can offer customers direct, on-demand access to their network services, while seamlessly connecting to a full range of participants available on Equinix Fabric. Within minutes, customers can use Equinix Fabric to gain access to network services like MPLS, Ethernet and IP transit from a multitude of major network service providers such as Aryaka, AT&T, BT, Cloudflare, Colt Technology Services, HKBN, Hurricane Electric, euNetworks, Fusix, GTT, Telnyx, Unitas Global and Verizon Business.
Equinix continues to be the single best place for companies to deploy their digital infrastructure for hybrid cloud architectures, offering the most locations to directly and privately connect to the leading IaaS and SaaS clouds. In just minutes, Equinix Fabric customers can directly connect to major cloud providers including Alibaba Cloud, AWS, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud. Additionally, Equinix customers can directly connect to SaaS and collaboration providers such as Salesforce, Cisco Webex, Zoom and many others. This rapidly growing density of enterprise digital infrastructure adjacent to public cloud infrastructure continues to attract even more cloud and network service providers to make their services available on Equinix Fabric.

Network Edge now offers full SD-WAN services

Further expanding its virtual network function (VNF) services ecosystem to help companies create and operate their network infrastructure at Equinix without a physical deployment, Equinix recently made the Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect virtual SD-WAN appliance available on Network Edge. With this addition, Network Edge now offers enterprises a full suite of industry-leading, vendor-neutral, SD-WAN services with built-in integration to Equinix Fabric.

The Network Edge platform enables companies to deploy virtual networking services in real time from multiple vendors, including Cisco, CloudGenix, Fortinet, Juniper Networks, Palo Alto Networks, Silver Peak (recently acquired by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company), Versa Networks, and VMware. With Equinix Fabric integration, Network Edge customers can also interconnect their virtual edge devices with cloud and network providers located in distributed global markets, extending their reach to potentially thousands of new business partners around the world.

Executive testimonial quotes responding to the platform expansion per Equinix include:

  • Peter Coppens, Vice President Product Portfolio, Colt Technology Services:  "This year has proven what we have long known, which is on-demand networking coupled with a technological ecosystem of like-minded providers is key to powering enterprises' rapid transformations. By extending our collaboration with Equinix, together we're giving enterprises greater agility and control over their most critical asset in today's business landscape – their network."
  • Fraser Street, Vice President of Technical Alliances at Silver Peak, recently acquired by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company:  "As enterprises advance digital transformation initiatives, a cloud-first WAN architecture is essential to an organization's overall digital infrastructure and long-term success. By deploying Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect virtual SD-WAN appliances on Equinix's Network Edge services, we are enabling enterprises to scale globally by virtually deploying a secure, digital-ready infrastructure at the edge within a matter of minutes from nearly anywhere in the world."
  • Jennifer Cooke, Research Director, Cloud to Edge Datacenter Trends, IDC:  "With the pandemic accelerating the pace of digital transformation today, many enterprises are challenged with traditional infrastructure that was not built to meet the demands of a digital business world. As a result, connecting digital infrastructures is increasingly complex and costly for many companies. Connectivity challenges have also been increasing as data traffic continues to explode. Solving these challenges requires a new approach. It requires assembling foundational infrastructure on demand and bringing together an interconnected ecosystem of providers on a global platform. By deploying their digital infrastructure on Platform Equinix, many enterprises can quickly and easily achieve this today."
  • Rakesh Inamdar, Senior Director of Core Infrastructure Services at Aon "With the pandemic creating a massive shift to remote working earlier this year, Aon was able to pivot and support 100% of our workforce remotely without any reduction in services. We were also able to roll out new capabilities at a time when many companies were struggling to keep employees connected and remain productive. All this was possible by building our digital infrastructure to be ready for disruption on Platform Equinix. Equinix's trusted platform provides us the most connected footprint of capabilities and services, whether it be connectivity to a boundless ecosystem of technology partners with Equinix Fabric or easy access to the largest carrier-neutral telecom aggregation points. By harnessing the power of the Equinix platform, we were able to bring together and connect our core infrastructure globally, in a highly secure and cost-effective manner."

Visit the Equinix Metal website.

About the Author

Matt Vincent | Senior Editor

Matt Vincent is a B2B technology journalist, editor and content producer with over 15 years of experience, specializing in the full range of media content production and management, as well as SEO and social media engagement best practices, for both Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine and its website CablingInstall.com. He currently provides trade show, company, executive and field technology trend coverage for the ICT structured cabling, telecommunications networking, data center, IP physical security, and professional AV vertical market segments. Email: [email protected]

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