As companies step up to the challenges of digital transformation, they often set aside time and resources to improve their existing IT infrastructures before they begin fully executing their digital strategies. For example, before deploying hybrid or multicloud infrastructures, they might first want to optimize their network to improve application performance, business continuity or data protection. It is an exciting moment when our enterprise customers discover that with a single interconnection solution, Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™), they can advance both goals at once. With one move, they can optimize their network for distributed IT infrastructure and accelerate their hybrid cloud and multicloud deployments, with minimal complexity and cost.
Optimizing networks for distributed IT infrastructure
Companies who interconnect their distributed IT infrastructure across Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers through our Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™) can tap into new opportunities that go far beyond connecting to multiple cloud service providers (CSPs) on demand. These enterprises also have instant access to an ecosystem of network service providers (NSPs) to leverage the right network service for their application needs. This enables them to aggregate services across networks for improved scalability and lower costs, as well as create secondary networks to augment primary network services.
The flexible nature of ECX Fabric provides businesses an on-demand approach for instantly accessing a large number of NSPs on a pay-as-you play basis. That makes it easier for them to integrate their increasingly distributed IT infrastructures, while providing mission-critical business continuity and data management services.
ECX Fabric’s software-defined networking (SDN) foundation helps us provide our customers with important benefits including:
- On-demand interconnection to various local or remote NSPs. Initial connections can be established within minutes via the ECX Fabric API or portal, enabling companies to dynamically turn network services up or down, depending on bandwidth and usage requirements.
- Redundant or supplemental private interconnection to augment a primary backbone network for high availability or load balance traffic for greater application reliability and performance. This enables businesses to handle variations in network traffic for unexpected or seasonal spikes without the risk of outages.
- Easy integration of distributed, hybrid IT infrastructures between IBX data center metros over a high-speed, private network backbone. This delivers fast and secure business continuity or data management (e.g., backup and recovery, archiving, etc.).
Take for example, HAVI, a global, privately owned company focused on innovating, optimizing and managing the supply chains of leading brands, with a focus on food service and convenience. HAVI was looking to scale its customer inventory forecasting service and implement a solution based on the Oracle Exadata Database Machine. Per its cloud-first strategy, the company also wanted to deploy a database disaster recovery (DR) solution that would leverage an Oracle Cloud site that was remote from its production facility.
HAVI worked with Oracle® and Equinix to colocate its production Exadata data warehouse in an Equinix IBX data center in Chicago and create a DR environment leveraging Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) in an Equinix IBX in the Washington, D.C. area. HAVI interconnected the primary site to the DR site via ECX Fabric and was able to transport the data from the primary database servers to its Ashburn DR site and upload to the Oracle Cloud via OCI FastConnect. Currently, HAVI moves 12–15 TB daily over ECX Fabric to their DR site and then to Oracle Cloud via OCI FastConnect, from which they can restore operations for DR. With this solution, the company reports an overall cost savings of up to 35%.
Source: Equinix and HAVI
View the HAVI success story:
Integrating hybrid clouds on-demand
The ability to connect with an ecosystems of NSPs on-demand is only one of the benefits ECX Fabric provides. It also allows businesses to interconnect public cloud service providers with their private clouds and applications to create hybrid cloud infrastructures within minutes. Similar to setting up NSP connections, multiple public clouds are accessible via virtual connections through a single physical port via the ECX Fabric API or portal on a pay-as-you go usage-basis without long-term contracts. The benefits of leveraging ECX Fabric to connect public clouds with private clouds include:
- On-demand access to all major public cloud services, establishing connections in minutes rather than waiting days or weeks.
- Remote interconnection to clouds that may be outside a business’s local market — for example, a company that wants to access a cloud service in Amsterdam that is not locally available in Helsinki.
- Efficient aggregation of multiple CSPs to gain the best in class service for a specific application.
- Increased application or data management performance using cloud adjacency services via high-speed, low-latency private interconnection. This enables fast and secure consolidation or synchronization of applications and databases between private environments and public cloud services.
For example, the Wing On Group of Department Stores in Hong Kong has served the city for over 110 years. As part of its digital transformation plan, Wing On placed a key internal application into the public cloud but experienced performance issues and intermittent service disruptions. Leveraging ECX Fabric, Wing On deployed its hybrid cloud architecture in an Equinix IBX in Hong Kong and consolidated its connectivity between applications (i.e., Wing On Rewards Applications) hosted in various public clouds and other on-premises applications.
Source: Equinix and Wing On
ECX Fabric enabled Wing On to locally integrate its customer loyalty program with its point of sale (POS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and databases, while delivering greater reliability and high performance via private interconnection between these systems. This ensures that the company’s customers enjoy a smooth, uninterrupted retail experience. Wing On also realized a significant cost reduction with its new hybrid cloud approach at Equinix.
View the Wing On success story:
More than just network and cloud access
The globally interconnected ECX Fabric also helps businesses integrate distributed enterprise IT infrastructures on Platform Equinix worldwide. They can augment network backbones with a reliable, high-speed private interconnection to multiple networks and cloud providers. This enables them to create global hybrid cloud and multicloud environments, even if a cloud provider is not available locally.
For more information, you can download the ECX Fabric data sheet.