Making It Connect

Making It Connect: How Virtual Network Services Enable Enterprise Network Connectivity

The ever-greater adoption of cloud solutions is forcing network architects to rethink the design, deployment and management of network infrastructure using virtual network services. Enterprises move data and applications to the cloud enthusiastically at first, expecting all the proven economic and operational benefits. However, cloud deployments soon become more complex as the infrastructure evolves into hybrid and multicloud environments. Network architects then confront latency that plagues application performance and realize the need for flexibility in deploying network and security services to quickly accommodate changing business demands.

Distance Kills Performance

The need is particularly acute in regions with geographically dispersed IT resources, often crossing geopolitical boundaries. Speed and flexibility are required to extend network reach, improve performance and enhance security. Established methods of network hardware deployment and management lack the necessary flexibility to quickly support and scalehybrid and multicloud environments.

Digital Workload Drives Demand for Optimized Interconnections

As the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) Volume 3 explains, the combination of legacy IT and cloud technologies has created a world where optimized interconnections are critical to minimizing the distance between IT services and users and optimizing performance. Enterprises are creating and connecting new workloads that continually increase the number of interactions and data volumes exchanged between users, applications and devices. As more enterprises adopt hybrid, multicloud environments, network architects responsible for designing, deploying and managing widely deployed infrastructure are faced with the need to:

  • Extend the network reach to quickly deliver services to new geographies.
  • Deploy network services to meet changing workload demands, improve application performance and enhance security.
  • Minimize latency between widely distributed cloud environments for efficient data transmission, processing and replication.
  • Allocate workloads optimally among network services based on criticality, e.g., real-time, mission-critical workloads on MPLS carrier service, lower-priority workloads via internet.

To address these needs, network architects are turning to virtual network services that provide the functionality of network hardware devices such as routers, firewalls and SD-WAN without deploying the physical hardware. Virtual network services let architects: 

  • Rapidly deploy and scale network services from the network core to the edge, leverage the same network vendor and functionalities for on-premise and virtual deployment, simplify operation and management and save time and reduce cost.
  • Modernize the network architecture to accommodate future growth without sacrificing performance, security and agility.

Equinix Approach to Enterprise Network Flexibility

Designed to accelerate digital transformation, Network Edge offers enterprises a new flexible approach to deploy network services on Equinix’s global interconnection platform without the need for physical data center or hardware deployment.

Network Edge enables an enterprise to select, deploy and connect network and security services from a selection of industry-leading network providers virtually and globally within minutes. Two specific examples highlight the flexibility and benefit of virtual network service deployment via Network Edge.

Augment Existing SD-WAN Hardware

An enterprise already using SD-WAN hardware to connect multiple branch offices and partnering with an NSP deploys virtual SD-WAN through Network Edge to supplement existing architecture’s capability to accommodate high growing cloud traffic. The result:

  • Scalable private connection for cloud bound traffic with on-demand agility and added backbone capacity.
  • Consistent, centralized network manageability across virtual and physical on-premise deployment, reducing operational and management cost.

Minimize Latency inCloud to Cloud Routing

An enterprise using multiple public clouds to access and execute different parts of a workload requires data sharing between the different clouds. Where the public clouds do not have the same point of presence (PoP) in the same metro, the latency between the clouds is mitigated with a virtual router deployed at one of the Equinix data centers. The result:

  • Cost-efficient and fast deployment of network router services for intracloud use. Eliminate the need for physical router and the associated cost and complexity.
  • Simplify and automate network router deployment in remote locations with on-demand provisioning and lifecycle management.

Enterprises looking for flexibility in deploying and managing network infrastructure will find the virtual network services available on Network Edge and deployed on Platform Equinix offer the ideal approach. On-demand deployment, secure global connectivity and scalability and centralized management allow enterprises to evolve their hybrid and multicloud architectures to deliver optimized network performance and realize the full value of their cloud investments.

Network architects interested in learning firsthand about the flexibility of deploying and managing virtual network services are invited to register for a free trial today.

The Making It Connect blog series discusses the capabilities and value of virtual network services in addressing the contemporary challenges of designing, implementing and managing network infrastructures in hybrid and multicloud environments.