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Equinix connects global data centers to create inter-metro connectivity fabric
Wed, 6th Dec 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Equinix is stepping up its interconnection game even more as it sets out to connect its International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers around the world.

The new inter-metro connectivity will be delivered through the Equinix Cloud Exchange (ECX), which has been renamed the Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric).

By connecting the data centers through physical direct and virtual connection, and by leveraging the software-defined networking (SDN) capabilities currently built into the ECX Fabric, customers can connect their own infrastructure across Equinix locations or connect to any other customer on the Equinix global platform, regardless of location.

Any Equinix customer will be able to request connections to any of the more than 1,000 participants on ECX Fabric today.

This includes cloud service providers such as Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud, and SaaS providers such as Salesforce, SAP, and ServiceNow, among others.

Moreover, customers can customize their connectivity to partners, customers, and suppliers through an interface that, according to Equinix, provides all the benefits companies have come to expect from "as-a-service" models.

Equinix will extend this connectivity to São Paulo within the Americas region and between APAC region ECX Fabric metro locations (Hong Kong, Melbourne, Osaka, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo) in 2018.

For the meantime, the new ECX Fabric capabilities are available in all ECX locations in North America and the EMEA region, including Amsterdam, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Dublin, Frankfurt, London, Los Angeles, Manchester, New York, Paris, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Stockholm, Toronto, Washington, D.C. and Zurich.

In Q4 2017 and early 2018, ECX Fabric is rolling out to seven new metros in the Americas and EMEA regions (Denver, Düsseldorf, Geneva, Helsinki, Miami, Milan and Munich).

What does this mean for enterprises?

Equinix's new inter-metro connectivity will mean enterprises can rapidly scale their digital business operations globally by connecting privately and securely to a larger set of business partners and destinations.

This includes both cloud service provider on-ramps within a metro or across other metros for the establishment of geo-redundant multi cloud and hybrid cloud architectures.

Benefits for service providers

Cloud service providers can extend their reach to a global base of enterprise buyers via private connections that provide a more consistent user experience.

Network service providers will have the ability to more easily connect to geo-diverse cloud on-ramps in more metros, and to more easily establish network connections to destinations in which they do not yet have a physical presence, increasing their addressable market.

The future is interconnected

According to the Global Interconnection Index, a market study by Equinix, the capacity for private data exchange between businesses is outpacing the public internet, growing at nearly twice the rate and comprising nearly six times the volume of global IP traffic by 2020.

Equinix says that as more companies shift to digital business models, interconnection with key business partners and customers is becoming an important element of their digital supply chain.

Equinix defines interconnection by its ability to offer seamless, on-demand, direct and private access to virtually any counterparty - from cloud service providers to strategic business partners to networks to SaaS providers - without traversing the public internet or a WAN.

This approach allows companies to boost application performance, reduce latency, increase security, and improve network control and visibility, according to Equinix.  

Eric Hanselman, chief analyst at 451 Research, comments, "Until now Equinix has operated data centers that are highly interconnected within their metro areas.

“Now Equinix is moving to fully interconnect its global platform, enabling companies to directly connect physically or virtually to customers, vendors and partners, and between their own points of presence, from any Equinix facility.

“This new interconnection opens a range of possibilities for Equinix customers.  It also has the potential for Equinix to deliver a greater breadth of services across its newly globally interconnected platform."