Can Interconnection Transform Your Digital Business?

Bill Long

You can’t walk into a room of IT leaders these days without hearing firsthand stories about the ways digital business is helping organizations accelerate performance and transform the user experience. As a multinational customer who delivers distributed IT services to more than 10,000 global locations recently told us, “Improving the user experience means bringing digital solutions directly to customers, not the other way around.” To make this kind of seismic shift, businesses are flipping their IT models from centralized to distributed and taking an entire array of IT services out to the edge, where the greatest concentrations of employees, partners and customers reside.

Getting there means answering some tough questions. First, how do you optimize your enterprise network for consistent end-to-end performance when delivering diverse content/workloads? How will you connect multiple clouds to simplify and scale access to a greater number of IT services to more people in more places? How can you gain the security and control you need to combat cyber-attacks on a growing, more distributed landscape? And finally, how will you integrate increasing amounts of data from an endless number of disparate sources, while still meeting compliance regulations?

You can find new insights into how to tackle these challenges in the second annual Global Interconnection Index (the GXI), a market study published by Equinix that analyzes private traffic exchange globally. The GXI demonstrates how you can combine four Interconnection use cases, along with a maturity model, to master the delivery of distributed IT services in an increasingly digital world. The first step is understanding the critical interrelationship between the growing number of distributed IT services and Interconnection growth.

Distributed IT services rely on Interconnection

The GXI identifies a consistent set of distributed IT services that characterize digital business deployments. These services include: Hosting, Distributed Denial-of-Service/Web Application Firewall (DDoS/WAF), Content Delivery Network (CDN), Global Traffic Manager (GTM) and Domain Name System (DNS). The Index shows that these services increase an organization’s need for Interconnection Bandwidth, the total capacity provisioned to privately and directly exchange traffic with a diverse set of participants at distributed IT exchange points. The GXI forecasts that when businesses spend greater than $50,000 per month on distributed IT services, their need for Interconnection Bandwidth capacity increases by 9X to support real-time interactions enabled by the Interconnection of people, things, clouds and data.

When combined with Interconnection, these distributed IT services solve critical use cases that must be addressed by all businesses of all sizes as they interconnect their digital business platforms globally.

Estimated Interconnection Bandwidth Adoption By Distributed IT Services Spend

The Interconnection use cases that matter

As IT and business leaders face a more complex and decentralized digital business environment, they need to simplify how they distribute and integrate their IT infrastructures while ensuring a high quality of experience (QoE) for their users.

The GXI identifies how strategic IT services placement, across metro Interconnection hubs, allows companies to master the four Interconnection use cases required for digital business success. As shown in the diagram below, these four Interconnection use cases – Network Optimization, Hybrid Multicloud, Distributed Security and Distributed Data – align with the common distributed IT services that define digital deployments:

Network Optimization

Network optimization solves latency issues by shortening the distance between users and services, localizing traffic in network hubs. For distributed content and workloads (CDN and DNS/GTM), the most common problem is high latency caused by long-haul networks, or backhauling traffic over the internet to a centralized location, far from users. Many businesses are realizing that not all content/workloads can be served by the public internet, whether because of performance, throughput, security or cost implications. By applying network optimization techniques and leveraging Interconnection, you can shorten the distance between users and IT services by localizing and aggregating private traffic exchange in network hubs in strategic metros. This enables you to deliver more consistent and reliable high-performance to your users, while increasing security. And in many cases, you can lower your network costs to the point where your network optimization solution will pay for itself.

Hybrid Multicloud

Hybrid multicloud simplifies complexity by directly connecting multiple public and private clouds and segmenting traffic in cloud hubs. Once you have optimized your network, you can more easily advance your application-to-cloud migration strategy and unlock the huge addressable market hybrid multicloud enables. Based on your application requirements, you can deploy entire or segmented applications across best-in-breed IaaS/PaaS/SaaS and mobile web platforms using direct and secure Interconnection via cloud hubs. This enables you to leverage the best attributes of each cloud provider for each specific application and user requirement. The cloud hub dynamically manages the Interconnection to multiple cloud and network providers, reducing complexity and increasing the accessibility of scalable cloud services to many more applications and users.

Distributed Security

Distributed security reduces risk, solves compliance challenges by deploying and connecting security services, and expands security ecosystem connectivity in security hubs. As application environments become more distributed, the security threat increases. This is why you’ll need to apply a much more rigorous security profile (DDoS and WAF ) for the workloads going in and out of the cloud and across the public internet after you solve for network optimization and hybrid multicloud. Deploying security controls in security hubs to locally address cybersecurity attacks will allow you to nip them in the bud before they spread.

Distributed Data

Distributed data scales the exchange of increasing volumes of data by integrating data lakes, analytics and data controls in data hubs. To better manage on-premises and cloud data exchange globally and stay in compliance with regulatory requirements, you can integrate data lakes (NoSQL, Hadoop), real-time analytics and data control in data hubs. This enables the data to remain local to the place of origin, yet be directly and securely accessed globally.

The Interconnection maturity model

When combined, these four Interconnection use cases form an Interconnection maturity model that will help you build a digital-ready infrastructure to accelerate your digital transformation.

The GXI data shows that digital businesses typically start with two hubs, six Interconnections and traffic exchanges with two third-party counterparties. Depending on the size and regional presence of the company, this model could grow to include many global hubs with multiple Interconnections across increasing numbers of counterparties.

Reach everywhere, interconnect everyone and integrate everything

To effectively and efficiently deploy these Interconnection use cases, along with the maturity model, start with a vendor-neutral interconnection and colocation platform, such as Platform Equinix®, that enables you to reach everywhere, interconnect everyone and integrate everything by taking advantage of:

Global Consistency – Leverage interconnection blueprints for networks, clouds, security and data and replicate them across multiple Equinix International Business Exchange data centers globally in more than 52 markets across five continents.

Global Ecosystems – Access the leading network and cloud providers, partners and customers from multiple digital and vertical industry ecosystems around the world.

Global Interconnection – Interconnect and integrate IT infrastructures on a single platform across global metros that are strategic to your digital business success.

By using the steps prescribed in the Interconnection use cases and maturity model in the GXI, you can tailor-make your strategy for digital success.

Learn more by reading the GXI Volume 2.

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