Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ - Flexible, on-demand global interconnection
Learn about the trends shaping the digital future and how IT can prepare for these demands, why Interconnection and ECX Fabric can help address IT needs on a global scale, what the most common use cases for ECX Fabric are, and how customers leverage ECX Fabric and an interconnection strategy for success.
- Trends shaping the digital future and how IT can prepare for these demands
- Why Interconnection and ECX Fabric can help address IT needs on a global scale
- The most common use cases for ECX Fabric
- How customers leverage ECX Fabric and an interconnection strategy for success
Today we’ll be talking about Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric which is our solution for flexible, on-demand, global interconnection.
My name is Nathan Record and I lead product marketing for our Interconnection products. These products enable our customers to create network connections with each other inside our colocation facilities.
Today we’ll start with a brief introduction to Equinix. Some of you on this webinar are existing customers but we also have a number of attendees who are not customers so we want to ensure you have a general idea of what Equinix does.
We’ll then dive into cloud connectivity and some of the trends and challenges facing organizations as they use cloud services whether they’re working with multiple clouds, hybrid clouds, or even working on a business continuity strategy.
We’ll then highlight how the Cloud Exchange Fabric can address some of the network connectivity challenges that organizations are facing as they use cloud services.
We’ll then wrap up showing how our customers are using Cloud Exchange Fabric to solve challenges that don’t directly involve connectivity to cloud services.
Who is Equinix?
I think the easiest way to answer this is to highlight that Equinix enables digital business in two key ways:
First is that we provide a physical location for digital infrastructure to live. We have about 200 colocation facilities across 44 of the world’s top markets spanning five continents. Inside our colocation facilities our customers put their critical IT infrastructure including network equipment, servers, databases, and security appliances. This enables our customers to place their IT equipment close to their customers, employees, partners, and vendors to accelerate application and data delivery. Over the past 20 years of doing business nearly 10,000 of the world’s top companies have put their IT infrastructure inside Equinix facilities. This includes more than 1,700 network service providers, and over 2,900 cloud and IT service providers, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, Alibaba, and Oracle Cloud.
These customers see Equinix not only as a place to put their digital infrastructure but ALSO as a place where they can connect their networks directly to their key customers, partners, and vendors. Which leads us to the second way Equinix enables digitals business.
2. Equinix provides a way for customers to connect their networks with each other. In today’s digital economy companies not only need to run their own IT infrastructure but they’re using that infrastructure to enable new products, enter new markets, and support business models that all require them to work very closely with their customers, partners and vendors. And a key part of working with these other organizations is to ensure that the underlying network connectivity between organizations provides performance, flexibility, and ease of use to support the goals of the business. A good example of this is a video streaming service. Video streaming services don’t operate a network that connects to all the homes and mobile devices of their customers. So these streaming services use Equinix as a place where they can connect their network with hundreds of telecommunications companies that deliver video to the consumer’s home or mobile device globally. Without a location like Equinix, the connectivity between video streaming services and telecom companies would be more complicated, more expensive, and deliver worse performance. When customers connect to each other within a colocation facility, we call this “interconnection.”
So that’s essentially the core of what Equinix does. 1. We provide a physical location where our customers can operate their digital infrastructure and 2. we provide a way for customers to connect their networks together – or “interconnection”.
These two ingredients – location and interconnection – are what our customers use as a solution to the demands of digital disruption. Market forces are requiring that all industries - new as well as traditional – incorporate digital capabilities into their products and business models and it can be a difficult transition. This isn’t just a challenge for Silicon valley startups – this impacts retailing, transportation, hospitality, manufacturing, government, and every other industry.
When you think about the digital supply chain of these industries and their need to connect their networks with each other, you start to see the value these companies are discovering as they use interconnection.
The diagram in the center of this slide shows interconnection at Equinix. Each line represents an connection between a customer and one of their vendors/partners, or customers. At Equinix there are over 280,000 of these connections around the world.
Networks play the role of delivering content, cloud services, financial and cloud data to end users.
Financial services use other networks and clouds to run financial exchanges and share market data around the world.
Enterprises rely on networks to connect their branch offices and headquarter locations, and they increasingly rely on clouds services to run their businesses.
Content and digital media companies rely heavily on networks to deliver video, audio, text, and images to their users.
And cloud companies use interconnection to enable the best network connections to their customers. And this is a group of customers I want to comment further on.
It the challenges facing the cloud service provider community that has brought them to Equinix. These cloud service providers started to realize that the public internet was not a suitable way of delivering high-end cloud workloads.
You can think of it kind of like a highway. For many situations a public highway works fine. But if you really needed to make sure you got to your destination on time, you’d be better of taking an Express Lane or a Toll road.
Cloud consumers are in a similar situation. For some cloud workloads the public Internet works fine. For example, if I’m sending email via a cloud-based service, the internet works great – I typically don’t require a lot of bandwidth and time is less critical. It doesn’t matter to me if my email takes 2 seconds vs. 4 seconds to get to its destination. However, as businesses are putting more and more mission critical and performance sensitive workloads into the cloud they are finding some challenges with the network they’re relying on to deliver these cloud services.
The public internet is NOT good when it comes to high performance, mission critical workloads. The biggest concerns are security and reliable performance.
So cloud providers started to build a solution to enhance their customer’s experience.
So they started building cloud onramps.
These onramps are ways for customers to directly connect their networks into the cloud service provider’s networks, which enables customers to bypass the public internet and ensure the best possible network performance. Amazon calls their cloud onramp “AWS Direct Connect”, Microsoft calls theirs “Azure ExpressRoute”, and Google calls theirs “Google Cloud Interconnect”. And most other cloud providers have a branded name for this type of solution.
These onramps are different from the large proprietary data centers the cloud providers build. You may have seen pictures of a large data center facility in the middle of a corn field. These rural areas are good locations for large server farms but not so good for connecting to the world’s largest enterprises or the world’s top telecommunications providers.
Cloud providers build their cloud onramps in locations where the most network service providers come together – places like Equinix. They then connect their onramps back into their large server farms where most of their data is stored and processor capacity resides. This two tiered approach combines lower cost for the large footprint of the server farm with high performance network connectivity.
As you can see from the image on this slide, Equinix is the place where the top cloud providers have chosen to build most of their cloud onramps. About 53% of all of the onramps from the top cloud providers are in Equinix facilities.
And this brings us to Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric.
Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric offers flexible, on-demand global interconnection to all the major cloud onramps. And it now enables customers to interconnect to other companies, not just to cloud providers.
It is available in over 30 major metros around the world. This enables customers to connect to those cloud providers in the local markets close to where the end users are rather than having to hairpin back to one central location. It is this ability to connect in the local market over a private connection that results in improved network latency and predictable network throughput for the cloud user.
The software-defined nature of this is really important. It makes setting up connections very simple and it enables you to make connections in just minutes. Customers can use the ECX Fabric Portal and APIs to make setting up and managing those network connections easy.
And again you can connect not just to cloud providers but to network service providers and even to your own distributed infrastructure that you may have deployed in other Equinix metros.
Cloud Exchange Fabric is currently available in over 30 markets globally across the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
As you can see we’re building network connectivity between each market that enables our customers to connect from one metro to a customer in a different metro. This is useful when you want a direct connection to your cloud provider but your digital infrastructure is in a different metro. For example, you may be a company based in Stockholm but your cloud providers nearest onramp may be in Amsterdam. You can use the Cloud Exchange Fabric to make this connection.
We also have publicly announced that we’ll soon be enabling connections between these regions. So a Cloud Exchange Fabric customer in Sao Paulo could connect to a cloud service provider located in Singapore.
The effect of being able to connect to cloud providers in different markets is powerful. This table shows a subset of the over 100 service providers that are on cloud exchange fabric today.
Before we built connectivity between metros, our customers could connect to these major cloud providers in most markets because the cloud providers build onramps in many of these markets. But once we started connecting these metros together,
it brought even more cloud coverage to our customers. So now a customer in Helsinki can connect to Microsoft Azure in Amsterdam.
As we study how our customers are using cloud exchange fabric we see some common patterns emerging.
The most common use is to connect to one or multiple cloud service providers Enterprises can connect directly and securely to their cloud service providers Networks – offer private cloud connectivity to their end customers, use API to enable high volume of transactions
Another common use is hybrid cloud – especially private data storage with public cloud compute. Benefits: Better control of data Close to cloud onramp which can reduce latency between an organizations IT infrastructure and their cloud providers
Example – A customer in Seattle has a local connection to AWS. Through their existing ECX Fabric Port in Seattle, this customer can provision a connection to ECX Fabric in Silicon Valley and reach AWS in minutes, creating a redundant high availability cloud strategy
Strategic objectives our solution solves rapidly provision connections to thousands of ECX fabric participants flexible bandwidth and connectivity options, low latency using private connections private connections that bypass the public internet redundant connections, always on, always available resources
Data backup Cloud to cloud Cloud to private data store
Diverse network connectivity to an availability zone
Example – A company that has a distributed workforce across North America, deploys their IT infrastructure in 4 Equinix locations. They can use ECX Fabric to reach and connect to all of those locations, in a matter of minutes
Database backup or replication. Distributed application
Strategic objectives our solution solves rapidly provision connections to distributed IT at the edge deploy and then connect to IT at the edge through 25+ ECX Fabric locations On-demand create connections to infrastructure located in other IBX locations private connections that bypass the public internet
Sales: contact info on website GSA Professional Services
Lean more – resources (next slide)
Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ - Flexible, on-demand global interconnection
Introduction to Equinix
Cloud Exchange Fabric
Flexible, on-demand, global interconnection