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Leveraging interconnect fabrics will help IT organisations 'build again'
Mon, 31st Oct 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Peter Sondergaard, Gartner Senior Vice President, laid out a bold call to action last week for IT professionals to build the new digital platform and reshape their organizations in the opening keynote at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2016 in Orlando.

Mr. Sondergaard told the audience of more than 8,000 CIO and IT leaders, “You are builders of a new type of infrastructure that won't just reshape business but the way people live - society itself.

Following Mr. Sondergaard's visionary presentation, Gartner VP and Distinguished Analyst David J. Cappuccio offered some additional insight on how to get there (see diagram below).

One of the top strategic trends, the emergence of the data center interconnect fabric, is an architectural model that we've been championing for quite some time.

An Interconnection Oriented Architecture (IOA) is a means to solve all types of next generation IT business challenges, ranging from network throughput, to application performance and user experience, to secure multi-cloud consumption.

Interconnection Is the Glue to Digital Business

In this new reality, rebuilding IT is not just an “on-premises project,” in other words, it must allow IT professionals to operate, orchestrate and automate many processes to improve workload and traffic patterns for enterprise applications.

We see this phenomenon already in play as our customers re-architect their infrastructures using strategic interconnection. Once they place interconnection first in their IT architectures as a primary design principle, they experience significant business advantages including improved enterprise collaboration and productivity, faster innovation and the ability to access more accurate insight from customer and product data in real-time.

In Gartner's July 2016 report, “Colocation-Based Interconnection Will Serve as the ‘Glue' for Advanced Digital Business Applications,” Gartner analyst Bob Gill explains how a data center interconnection fabric works in the enterprise:

“We propose that topology, technology and design all favor building a digital business solution using colocation-based, programmable networking, which we will call ‘data center interconnect fabric,' allowing dynamic interconnection between enterprise peers, cloud providers, communications providers and a growing marketplace of service providers.

Our customers are experiencing these more dynamic, high-performance environments firsthand, for example, when leveraging data center interconnect fabrics to deploy hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructures.

By directly connecting to multiple cloud service providers (CSPs) over high-speed, virtualized connections using the Equinix Cloud Exchange, our enterprise customers gain fast, low-latency, private access to multiple clouds over a cost-effective, single physical connection.

At the same time, interconnect fabrics enable our many CSP customers to bring their cloud services to market more quickly and deliver them with higher performance and throughput than afforded by the public internet.

Extending the Interconnect Fabric to the Edge

There is also a trend in which IT departments deploy micro and edge computing environments that move IT resources closer to users or data. This is a cornerstone in the IOA strategies we help our customers realize.

Increasing numbers of people, locations, clouds and data are located out at the edge of the enterprise corporate network. An IOA enables organizations to better architect for digital business and shift the fundamental IT delivery architecture from a centralized model to a physically distributed model.

When infrastructure is pushed to the edge, and directly and securely interconnected to services, partners and customers, application/workload performance increases, and the user experience along with it.

Article by Sara Baack, chief marketing officer, Equinix