How to Architect Your IT to Scale for Interconnection Demand

Bill Long
How to Architect Your IT to Scale for Interconnection Demand


As the global economy goes digital, data traffic is reaching unheard of levels, and the need for the Interconnection Bandwidth capacity to handle it is also increasing. That’s all crystal clear – and quantifiable for the first time – based on the data and projections in the new “Global Interconnection Index,” market study published by Equinix.

The Global Interconnection Index measures the estimated private exchange of data between companies doing digital business. And it provides the first-ever baseline and forecast for the growth of global Interconnection Bandwidth, which is a measure of the total capacity provisioned to privately and directly exchange traffic with a diverse set of counterparties and providers at distributed IT exchange points.

The reason Interconnection has become so critical is that it brings companies close to their partners and users so they can access the instant, direct and secure connectivity that’s vital to conduct business in a digital economy. The Global Interconnection Index projects the growing demand for Interconnection Bandwidth capacity, and it does so by industry, region, business use case and enterprise adoption.

IT architects are increasingly focused on how they can best meet their organization’s need for Interconnection. They recognize that their companies simply can’t scale as digital businesses without it. And the Global Interconnection Index’s insights can help them design a more high-performance, scalable highway for exchanging digital traffic.


Moving off the dirt road

Consider this analogy for the traditional business model – a remote factory, serviced by a single dirt road. Raw material was trucked to the factory via the dirt road, then finished products were trucked out. One road, one factory – it all worked fine, until the world went digital.

In a global digital economy, the raw materials businesses depend on most are data and application workloads that need to be instantly processed, accessed, analyzed and acted on. These are not small requirements. Consider that the Global Interconnection Index projects Interconnection Bandwidth capacity will grow at an estimated 45% compound annual growth rate by 2020, when it is expected to equal 5,000 terabits per second. That much bandwidth capacity would let you to transfer the entire printed content in the U.S. Library of Congress three times in a single second. In that kind of data deluge, the one road, one factory model just can’t cut it.

Instead, raw data and the finished products and services need to be closer to users, for faster access. Digital businesses need to be interconnected all over the world, with multiple IT deployments using multiple avenues for Interconnection, so they can link to employees, partners and customers anywhere instantly. To do this, they need scalable IT architectures that are dynamic, agile and distributed. The Global Interconnection Index shows projections of where that capacity will be consumed, and IT architects can use these numbers to prepare their companies to plan for the Interconnection Bandwidth they’ll require.

Here are three things IT architects must consider to lay out a successful Interconnection strategy:

  1. What do your applications need? How can you improve response time? Can they be accessed from any device, anywhere? How can you optimize multi-application workflows? How latency sensitive are they? How business-critical are they? Who is using them and where do these apps need to live so that your users have the best possible quality of experience?
  2. How can you distribute and scale your architectures to best meet user application needs? Once you determine your current application needs, the Global Interconnection Index can you help flag regions, industries and customer scenarios in which you can lay out your Interconnection-first IT platform strategy to best support existing and potential digital business scenarios.
  3. Where do you see your future? The Global Interconnection Index’s Interconnection Bandwidth projections can also help you plan where to distribute your Interconnection/IT infrastructures, based on Interconnection Bandwidth growth potential.

The confidence to plan

The Global Interconnection Index is a living tool that can help IT architects see today’s Interconnection opportunities, and also have the confidence to proactively develop new Interconnection strategies to serve them tomorrow. For example, here are two future insights that come through clearly in the Global Interconnection Index:

  • Interconnection has become critical across industries. No industry measured in the Global Interconnection Index had a projected annual growth rate in Interconnection Bandwidth by 2020 less than 27%, and most had +50% annual growth.
  • Geographically dispersed IT architectures are a must. If a business thinks sticking with a highly centralized IT architecture in one geography can suffice for now, they should think again. The massive projected annual growth in Interconnection Bandwidth capacity by region by2020 (U.S. +40%, Europe +44%, Asia-Pacific +22%, Latin America +62%) indicates that businesses everywhere could be getting more distributed, efficient and faster. Letting your competitors beat you at the Interconnection game is a losing business proposition.

The data in the Global Interconnection Index brings the big picture into clear view, but it also gets granular enough to examine enterprise Interconnection Bandwidth capacity adoption projections by revenue, geographic spread, employee number and IT services distribution footprint. Most companies will see themselves in the data and learn a lot about where they are today and how to best guide their business where it wants to head next.

All told, the Global Interconnection Index offers a unique number of data points that can help guide companies toward the right Interconnection strategy. This is a critical time of transformation and growth, and the Global Interconnection Index can help IT architects make the right plans today, so their companies are ready for an increasingly interconnected tomorrow.

Please take some time to check out the Global Interconnection Index.

You may also want to read:

The Global Interconnection Index: New Insight Into the Expanding Digital Universe

Is Interconnection Maturity the Key to Scaling Digital Business?

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Bill Long Former Vice President of Core Product Management
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