Taking your Digital Supply Chain off the Dirt Road and onto a Super Highway

Bill Long

 

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I was thrilled the first time I experienced the wonders of Amazon same-day delivery. Placing an order by 1:00 PM and, lo and behold, having the item arrive the same evening is impressive. And, I can’t wait for the day when my Amazon orders arrive at my door in 30 minutes or less via a drone.

This expedited delivery model is not that different for enterprises looking to provide a positive, thrilling experience to customers and employees around the world on multiple devices. With today’s dynamic voice, video and virtual desktop infrastructure applications, latency – the time it takes for packets to travel from source to destination ̶ is least as important as bandwidth. The fattest pipe won’t get packets to their destination faster if those packets have to cross thousands of miles and multiple network hops or travel over a congested public Internet. The same is even truer for applications that rely on fast interactions between multiple components and cloud services.

Unfortunately the IT centric interconnection architecture typical of most enterprises today, which relies on multiple expensive long distance data center interconnections over MPLS or Internet VPN’s, is more like Amazon having a single warehouse at the end of a dirt road in Happy Pebble, North Dakota. Same day delivery included with Prime Membership? No way.

Rethinking Interconnection

As with Amazon same-day deliver, today’s streaming and composite apps need an interconnection platform that puts application components in proximity to users and each other, with fast interconnections and as few hops and congestion in between as possible. Think drone.

Equinix has created such a platform by attracting countless enterprises, cloud providers, network providers and peering points to colocate in its more than 100 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers. Instead of building multiple individual long distance MPLS interconnections, organizations or service providers can extend their networks over local Ethernet to a Performance Hub in any one or more of Equinix’s 100+ global IBX data centers in business centers across 33 metro markets.

As with same day delivery, extending and colocating an enterprise network closer to users, network providers and cloud services amps up application performance and reduces latency in a number of different ways.

Proximity: Organizations can take advantage of globally distributed IBX centers, interconnected at ultra-high speed to place application access in close proximity to distributed and mobile users, including employees, suppliers, partners or customers on multiple devices. The result is dramatically lower latency.

Network Provider Peering and Choice: Rather than tethering itself to one of more network providers, organizations can choose from a dense ecosystem of network providers to suit any business need. Look for proximity to multiple colocated network peering points, where network providers exchange traffic at very high speed, reducing or eliminating the number of network hops in a single enterprise connection. Think superhighways instead of dirt roads.

Exchanges: You also get high-speed, low-latency interconnection exchanges to Internet and cloud services, similar to Amazon contracting with local providers. With the Equinix Cloud Exchange you can quickly deploy private, hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructures via proximate, secure, high-speed connections to more than 500 leading cloud providers over a single network port. The Equinix Internet Exchange offers local high-speed cross connects, now including 100 Gbps speed ports, allowing enterprises to connect more directly to partners and suppliers and scale their traffic capacity more quickly.

When you combine all these interconnection advantages, organizations can provide applications to users at dramatically higher speed and lower latency than over individual long distance, shared Internet connections. A thrilling user experience means happier users, easier collaboration, faster transactions and, ultimately, more revenue.

 

Bill Long
Bill Long Vice President of Interconnection Product Management