Colocation + Cloud + Edge Computing = The Brave New Norm

How businesses are distributing hybrid IT closer to remote users.

Steve Steinhilber
Colocation + Cloud + Edge Computing = The Brave New Norm

Everyone is wondering if the COVID-19 pandemic has set in motion a new norm of collaborating, interacting and socializing. I believe the answer is a definitive “Yes.” Many IT organizations worldwide have now successfully accelerated their efforts to shift their infrastructure to the edge to meet the needs of their universally distributed user base. These new technology capabilities will endure, as will the new workforce preferences they have created.

Although the pandemic has been a catalyst to speed the distribution of digital solutions around the world, the move toward global, industry-wide transformation has been mounting over the last decade. Companies that have been strategically distributing their IT infrastructure closer to their users are now benefitting from a more agile digital foundation that is well positioned to meet today’s challenges.

Worldwide Colocation and Interconnection Services 2019 - 2020 Vendor Assessment

IDC recognized Equinix as a leader in colocation and interconnection services in this inaugural IDC MarketScape report. Read this competitive assessment of nine interconnection and colocation service vendors to complement your understanding of key benefits of critical infrastructure provider Equinix.

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Nearly 58% of enterprises say that they use interconnection to cloud service providers in third-party data centers.

IDC predicts that “By 2023, over 50% of new enterprise IT infrastructure deployed will be at the edge rather than corporate datacenters.”

This prediction underscores a major trend: companies are seeking out interconnected hubs within vendor-neutral colocation data centers that can bring together dense network, cloud and business ecosystems and edge computing services in one place.

Colocation’s value reaches far beyond space, power and cooling

Though the physical reach of global data centers is what initially attracts many enterprises, it is the essential on-demand access to network, cloud/SaaS and edge services ecosystems that helps them create new value for their business and their customers. We see these trends at work with our customers every day, and they were confirmed in IDC’s 2019 U.S. Enterprise Communications survey on hosting and colocation services. IDC’s report showed that over half (57.9%) of respondents were using third-party data centers to access interconnection services to cloud service providers (CSPs).[ii]

Cloud is becoming an edge destination

Hybrid multicloud infrastructures at the edge are powering the growth of digital infrastructures. Rather than depending on multi-hop, latency-ridden routing to major metro CSP locations, companies are moving their IT infrastructures to the edge, where private and public clouds can be proximate to users, applications and data. By 2023, IDC predicts this shift will ignite the cloud industry to grow to $652 billion, with edge networks representing 60% of all deployed infrastructures.[iii]

Edge computing is processing new workloads

By 2024, IDC predicts the number of apps at the edge will increase 800%.iFor companies to deliver the best quality of service (QoS) between users and applications, they need to put computing resources close at hand to reduce latency. This also requires greater edge computing to support growing dynamic digital edge workloads, such as unified communications and collaboration and the internet of things (IoT).

Use cases that integrate colocation, cloud and edge computing

The following are just a few examples of how we are teaming up with our customers and partners to enable a wide range of digital services by integrating colocation, cloud and edge computing on our single global interconnection platform.

Fast access to unified communications and collaboration

With millions of remote workers, communities and families sheltered in place, UCC solutions such as Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams/Skype and Zoom are keeping people connected. Cloud-based UCC providers have seamlessly scaled-out their IT operations on Platform Equinix® in IBX data centers around the world. By rapidly provisioning higher capacity bandwidth and services, and harnessing private IP peering via Equinix Internet Exchange™, these providers can deliver a higher QoS to their users in hours and days, rather than weeks or months.

Global distributed digital security

Security providers are expanding their customers’ security perimeters to encompass hybrid on-premises and colocation data centers, private and public cloud environments at the edge via the ECX Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™) and Network Edge services. By distributing corporate security services and compliance policies, businesses gain greater control and manageability where the most users and data reside, as well as where the most likely entry points for cybersecurity are exposed.

For example, security providers and their customers can deploy distributed edge firewalls and aggregate virtual private network (VPN) traffic for faster more scalable secure access to vital UCC solutions or critical edge computing services such as bare metal on-demand for real-time, big data security analytics.

Direct connectivity to multicloud with end to end encryption and dynamic routing via SD-WAN virtual edge or gateway also enable private date exchange between cloud-based databases and application to be accessible securely by global edge locations.

IoT anywhere

IoT data is being created from every corner of the globe and requires single-digit latency to be effective for new digital applications such as autonomous vehicles and telehealth. Deploying IoT on a global scale and managing the massive exchange of IoT data requires local presence and fast access to cloud and edge computing services.

As a case in point, a leading global telecommunications service provider is partnering with Equinix to deliver a single worldwide IoT network grid to other network and mobile operators across geographic borders and technologies via an IoT Infrastructure-as-a-Service on Platform Equinix. The company is leveraging Equinix’s global footprint and ECX Fabric to efficiently collect and distribute IoT data across different networks and clouds, accelerate IoT deployments, and deliver greater business insights to customers via high-speed low-latency private interconnection. 

Interconnection pulls it all together

For enterprises to quickly deploy distributed colocation data center, hybrid multicloud and edge computing infrastructures, they need proximate, high-speed, low-latency private interconnection. Equinix Global Solutions Architects can help you deploy interconnection services to quickly distribute IT infrastructures to where your users need them the most.

Learn more about why Equinix has been recognized as a leader in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Colocation and Interconnection Services 2019- 2020 Vendor Assessment.[iv]


[i] IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2020 Predictions, by Frank Gens, October 29, 2019,IDC,  #US45599219

[ii] IDC U.S. Enterprise Communications Survey, 2019: Hosting and Colocation Services, by  Courtney Munroe and Venkatesh Mahale, November 2019, IDC # US44792219.

[iii] IDC and Equinix Webinar, 2020 Market Insights and Channel Opportunities by Pam Miller (IDC) and Greg Adgate (Equinix), 2019.

[iv] IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Colocation and Interconnection Services 2019-2020 Vendor Assessment, by Courtney Munroe, December 2019, IDC #US45717419.

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Steve Steinhilber Former Global Vice President Ecosystem Development
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