Do You Have a Digital Edge Strategy?

Josh Sordelet

Digital transformation is spurring companies to distribute their digital services to the edge, closer to users to better drive digital opportunity and growth. This shift away from backhauling user traffic to access IT services in centralized, corporate data centers is increasing the need for direct and secure interconnection. As more companies realize the value of placing IT services closer to their users in distributed locations around the world, they are looking to interconnection leaders like Equinix for best practices to ensure their edge IT deployments will be successful.

Some of the questions that we hear from Equinix customers include:

  • What are my digital transformation options?
  • How do I maintain high performance for my users?
  • How do I avoid cloud lock-in and leverage multiple public clouds at once?
  • How do I take advantage of the benefits of public clouds without putting our data at risk?
  • How can we learn from what others are doing that can help us succeed?

By working closely with our customers to help them develop their digital edge strategies, we have identified four essential steps that, when combined, speed digital transformation and remove performance, cloud, security and data challenges at the edge.

4 steps to accelerate your digital future

The following four steps will help you re-architect your IT infrastructure to more effectively place interconnection and IT services at the digital edge, where population centers, commerce, and digital and business ecosystems meet and interact in real-time:

1. Build Network Hubs for Network Optimization

Meeting today’s digital business requirements for real-time interactions requires a streamlined network topology that solves latency issues by shortening the distance between users and the IT services. By building IT traffic exchange control points (network hubs) at the digital edge, proximate to users and IT services, businesses can optimize network segments to deliver greater performance and quality of service (QoS), all at a reduced cost.

2. Connect Clouds for Hybrid Multicloud

Many companies are looking to leverage hybrid IT environments – a combination of on-premises, colocation and cloud (private, public and hybrid) infrastructures. This requires proximate access to vital cloud ecosystems to connect with the best in class cloud providers and services to meet business needs. An interconnected fabric of network and cloud hubs at the digital edge simplifies the complexity of hybrid IT and provides the choice, scale and agility required for today’s and tomorrow’s digital business requirements.

3. Deploy Controls for Distributed Security

As more distributed end points, data and cloud services populate the edge, the cybersecurity attack surface evolves. Security risk and compliance issues can be reduced by deploying security “guard rails” at the digital edge. To achieve this, deploy security controls and third-party security services adjacent to network and cloud hubs. By overlaying security services where cyber-attacks are most likely to originate, you can stop them from further propagating and causing greater damage.

4. Place Analytics Next to Distributed Data

Data volume, variety and velocity are steadily increasing at the edge. This is creating data gravity, where increasing amounts of information are attracting more users, systems, applications and clouds that need to access the data. To efficiently and cost-effectively scale and manage the exchange of data globally, businesses need to integrate data lakes, analytics and data controls in data hubs at the digital edge, proximate to data sources and consumers.

Successfully implementing these options as a part of a wholistic digital edge strategy requires a flexible interconnection architecture that provides a roadmap for interconnecting all participants and components. This is exactly what an Interconnection Oriented Architecture™ (IOA™) provides to our customers. IOA is a proven and repeatable architectural framework to transform a business’s IT infrastructure from centralized to distributed by directly and securely interconnecting with people, locations, clouds, data, and things at the digital edge.

Harnessing interconnection to get your edge digital ready

By leveraging IOA best practices as part of their edge strategy, our customers have found that they can efficiently and cost-effectively build the digital-ready IT infrastructures needed to create and grow successful digital businesses.

The following IOA strategy tenets provide a roadmap for taking the steps required to successfully deploy network optimization, hybrid multicloud, distributed security and distributed data at the digital edge:

  • Simplifying your network by localizing, segmenting and optimizing network traffic flows, dramatically reduces latency and costs by integrating your WAN and LAN infrastructures, including hybrid multicloud connectivity, together at the edge.
  • Creating security guard rails by strengthening security services and governing multi-party flows with boundaries and inspection zones dramatically reduces the risk of cyber-attacks.
  • Establishing a data fabric by stabilizing data requirements, balancing data access with protection and governing data movement ensures greater data privacy and compliance.
  • Integrating applications by assembling application services at interaction points, provides an dynamic, interconnected multicloud, multi-party business fabric.

By following these IOA best practices on a global interconnection platform for digital business, such as Platform Equinix®, enterprises and service providers can develop winning digital edge strategies to grow their businesses and create new value for their customers.

Speeding your journey to the edge

With more than 9,800 customers worldwide, Equinix has built up the expertise, tools and best practices to help any company in any industry customize and drive its digital edge strategy forward. From our position at the center of the digital world, we expedite your path based on diverse insights, lessons learned and best practices we collect and connect across many industries, geographies and brands.

It all starts with an individualized Digital Edge Strategy Briefing (DESB), where our Global Solutions Architects (GSAs) will help you tailor a strategy based on IOA best practices, your existing IT infrastructure and your specific digital business goals. This will include a plan for how to leverage IOA best practices to deploy the four steps that will make you digital ready at the edge.

The DESB draws from the wealth of information found in the IOA Knowledge Base (IOAKB), which synthesizes our rich body of digital knowledge and customer experiences to provide the information you need to create a solid, future-proof digital edge strategy for your business.

The Digital Edge Strategy Briefing should be the first stop in your digital transformation journey. Register your company for a private Digital Edge Strategy Briefing with our Global Solutions Architects to jump-start your digital business and ensure edge success.

You may also be interested in reading the IOA Playbook.