How Equinix’s Most Enduring Ecosystem is Catalyzing Cloud Opportunity

Guido Coenders

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Since our founding in 1998, a number of rich, vendor-neutral industry ecosystems have emerged within Equinix, including the first carrier and network service provider (NSP) ecosystem. Since then, the network ecosystem has not only grown to over 1,150 participants, it has also been an indispensable catalyst for the growth and development of the other communities, such as the cloud. Today we can see this phenomenon in full effect within our cloud service provider (CSP) ecosystem, where Equinix houses more than 500 CSPs worldwide.

The cross pollination between these growing NSP and CSP ecosystems has been the catalyst for the creation of a new Equinix program called “ECX Connected Services,” where NSPs can offer cloud-connectivity to enterprises across multiple Equinix Cloud Exchange global metro areas and bring them cloud services, no matter where the enterprise or the cloud reside.

Cloud services may be consumed virtually and be usage-based, but they still need to physically reside somewhere, and their customers need to be able to readily get to them. Traditionally, the access method for public cloud systems has been the Internet, but the maturation of cloud consumption and the need for private, secure, predictable and high-capacity connectivity has increased customer demand for direct interconnection options. CSPs have answered the call by developing direct access offerings, and NSPs are responding by taken up this essential transport role and delivering cloud services to the enterprise. As a result, the NSPs and CSPs at Equinix have created a multi-vendor, interconnected cloud service fabric that delivers global access to both large and regional public CSPs.

How does it work?

Most NSPs today offer direct cloud connectivity solutions, and Equinix is proud that many of them are making use of the Equinix Cloud Exchange as a way of providing that connectivity between one or more CSPs and enterprise customers. The Cloud Exchange is Equinix’s portal- and API-enabled interconnection solution that facilitates private access to a multitude of cloud and other service providers within Equinix.

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ECX Connected Services

Standing by our long term commitment to neutrality, ECX Connected Services enables NSPs to connect to several Cloud Exchanges (currently available in 20+ metros) and engage as “sellers,” providing the enterprise with one or more virtual connections between global Cloud Exchange metro areas, as illustrated in the figure above. For example, if an enterprise connected to a Cloud Exchange in Zürich wants to connect to Microsoft Azure, AWS or a regional CSP only available in Amsterdam or Frankfurt, they have multiple NSPs within Equinix to choose from to quickly make those cloud connections.

As more NSPs join the ECX Connected Services program, enterprises will have the benefit of greater choice in NSP and CSP options. That can mean selecting the most competitive price, lowest latency, best SLA, or simply working with the NSP with which they have a longstanding relationship. In any case, this program will offer enterprises not just the capability to access Oracle from New York or SoftLayer from Osaka, it literally enables the consumption of every connected cloud service from any Equinix location where Cloud Exchange is available.

You may already have a clear understanding of how to best architect your network infrastructure to optimize for cloud services, but if not, you can read more about our Cloud Consulting Services or contact our Global Solution Architects team.

Also download our white paper, “The Home of the Interconnected Cloud: Where Service Providers and Enterprises Meet to Grow and Innovate Together.”