Dec 10, 2020

Equinix launches new interconnection solutions

Data Centres
Joanna England
3 min
The world's leading colocation data centre company has created a revolutionary connective digital infrastructure
The world's leading colocation data centre company has created a revolutionary connective digital infrastructure...

Equinix Inc has expanded its capabilities and is now offering enterprises greater connectivity following advancements in the company's cloud and network services.

The changes, which are described as revolutionary, now offer customers a transformative set of services on Equinix Fabric and Network Edge following "significantly expanded ecosystems". The new infrastructure will provide digital leaders with an agile network that will respond better to increasingly dynamic business environments. 

Equinix Fabric, the multinational's cloud arm, now has a globally connected footprint of services that will enable companies to increase their connectivity within their own business environment.

Extended cloud services

The developments have arisen, say Equinix, from the increasing demands of customers requiring better network agility, ecosystem access and infrastructure performance. 

The new ecosystem looks set to create a new standard for cloud services globally. The company, which recently acquired 13 new Canadian data centres to add to its global portfolio of more than 220 hubs, is already an industry innovator. 

In the past year alone, Equinix Fabric has expanded into seven new markets including Bogotá, Canberra, Dubai, Hamburg, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro and Seoul. It now has a presence in 49 strategic metros across five continents.

Speaking about the new connectivity services, Rakesh Inamdar, Senior Director of Core Infrastructure Services at Aon, an Equinix customer, said the service has already been invaluable following the global pandemic disruptions to business. He explained, "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."

Inamdar said the services have been financially beneficial too. "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."

New cloud benchmark

The increased connectivity may well create a new service benchmark for the data centre industry, which has entered a period of intense change following recent global developments. Demands from customers and the need for faster, more effective data management is also shaping the industry.

The Equinix IBX (International Business Exchange) is currently the world's largest digital infrastructure ecosystem. Cutting-edge technology and services include 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. This enables companies to seamlessly bridge the distance between their distributed digital infrastructure.

Equinix also recently launched a new capability that allows its users to connect to any other customer on Platform Equinix. This latest asset increases interconnection reach by three-fold, with the ability to connect to the more than 10,000 clouds, networks, partners, customers, and rich ecosystems currently available on Platform Equinix.

Currently, 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.

Jennifer Cooke, Research Director, Cloud to Edge Datacenter Trends, IDC said digital infrastructures were becoming increasingly complex to handle the growing data traffic demands. "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."

Cooke continued, "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."

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Jun 6, 2021

Unlocking the next chapter of the digital revolution

Tim Loake
5 min
Tim Loake, Vice President, Infrastructure Solutions Group, UK at Dell Technologies highlights the importance of often-overlooked digital infrastructure

As the world retreated to a hybrid world in 2020, our reliance on technology took the spotlight. But it was the jazzy new social and video calling platforms that took the encore. Behind the scenes, our servers worked overtime, keeping us connected and maintaining the drumbeat of always-on newly digital services.  Let’s take a moment to pay our respect to the unsung technology heroes of the pandemic – the often-forgotten IT infrastructure keeping us connected come what may. After all, as we look ahead to more resilient futures, they will be playing a central role.

Servers could be likened to our plumbing – vital to well-functioning homes but rarely top of mind so long as it is functioning. Never seen, rarely heard – our servers do all the graft with little praise. But it is essential to reflect on the incremental advances in GPU and CPU power, which have paved the way for new workloads that previously were not possible. Chatbots and native language processing that provide essential customer touchpoints for businesses across the retail and banking sectors rely on powerful servers. They also keep businesses competitive and customers happy in an always-on world. 

Tim Loake, Vice President, Infrastructure Solutions Group, UK at Dell Technologies
Tim Loake, Vice President, Infrastructure Solutions Group, UK at Dell Technologies

Serving workplace transformation

But, as businesses grappled with pandemic disruptions, the focus was largely on adopting connected devices – and awe at the rapid increase in the datasphere.  As they reined in their budgets and attempted to do more with less, one aspect was perhaps overlooked—those hard working servers.

When it came to building resilience into a newly remote workforce, the initial concern was focused on the device endpoints – keeping employees productive.  Many companies did not initially consider whether they had the server infrastructure to enable the entire workforce to log in remotely at the same time. As a result, many experienced a plethora of teething problems: virtual office crashes, long waits to get on servers, and sluggish internet connectivity and application performance, often rendering the shiny new PC frustrating and useless.

Most businesses only had a few outward-facing servers that could authenticate remote workers – a vital gateway as the vector for cyber hacks and attacks increased exponentially. That’s not to mention the fact that many business applications simply weren’t designed to work with the latency required for people working from home. What businesses discovered at that moment was that their plumbing was out of date.  

Business and IT leaders quickly realised that to stay ahead of the curve in the hybrid working world, a renewed focus on building agile, adaptable, and flexible IT infrastructures was critical. More importantly, it accelerated the inevitable digital transformation that would keep them competitive in a data-driven economy. It is now abundantly clear to businesses that they need IT infrastructure to meet the demands of diverse workloads – derive intelligent insights from data, deploy applications effectively, and enhance data management and security.  

Ripe for a digital revolution

Unsurprisingly, IDC noted that there was an increase in purchases of server infrastructure to support changing workloads. However, it also forecasts this uptick will be sustainable and last beyond the pandemic. As the economy begins to reopen, business leaders are looking ahead. IT will continue to play a crucial role in 2021 and beyond – and we have already set the foundations for the digital revolution with next-generation servers. 

As we enter the zettabyte era, new innovative technologies are coming on stream, with 5G turbocharging IoT and putting edge computing to work.  Exciting new services improved day-to-day efficiencies, and the transformation of our digital society will be underpinned by resilient IT infrastructures.  By embracing the technological innovations of our next-generation servers, businesses keep pace with the coming data deluge.

The next generation of server architecture promises more power with less heat, thanks to improved, directed airflow, and direct liquid cooling, resulting in reduced operational costs and environmental impact. As we rebuild post-pandemic, manufacturers and customers alike strive to achieve ever more challenging sustainability goals. With this in mind, a focus on environmentally responsible design is imperative for the servers of tomorrow -  uniquely designed chassis for adaptive cooling and more efficient power consumption will be critical, improving energy efficiency generation over generation.

The most notable evolution is the configuration of these next-gen servers around more specific organisational needs. Unlike clunky and often unstable legacy infrastructure, the infrastructure of tomorrow will be sturdier and more modular. The next iteration is streamlined, and in this modular form, can be more easily tailored to business needs. This equates to essential cost savings as businesses only pay for what they use.  

Resolving the problem of the future, today

Tomorrow's IT challenges will focus on response times and latency as Edge and 5G technologies go mainstream. As businesses develop new and innovative services that utilise supercharged connectivity and real-time analytics, staying on top of these challenges will give them a competitive edge. For example, in the world of retail, automation will power new virtual security guards and even the slightest delay in the data relay could result in financial loss. 

Similarly, in the smart cities of tomorrow, the network must be responsive. With city-centre traffic lights controlled by an AI-powered camera that monitors pedestrians, delays in data transfers could cost the life of an elderly pedestrian who has fallen in the road. The stakes are far higher in a 5G-enabled world. As our reliance on technology deepens, the margins for error narrow, placing greater emphasis on the efficiency of those critical underpinning technologies.

Fully enabling the hybrid work model today is just a stepping-stone towards more fluid, tech-enabled lives. A work Zoom call from an automated vehicle on-route to an intelligent transport hub is a highly probable vision of our future. But it requires incredible amounts of compute and seamless data transfers to make it possible. These glossy snapshots need super servers to come to life, making that IT plumbing glisten with next-gen innovation essential. Without exemplary server architecture, we risk future tech advances and the human progression that it enables. 

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