Masters of the Internet

How Equinix and Hurricane Electric are working together to simplify internet connectivity

Ed Baichtal
Reid Fishler

Can you imagine where we would all be if there was no public internet? It has become a critical lifeline that we take for granted  ̶  except for now, during a global pandemic, when our lives really depend on the internet for our work, news and socializing. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that roughly half of U.S. adults (53%) said the internet has been essential for them personally during the pandemic.

Source: Pew Research Center

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Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric™) directly, securely and dynamically connects distributed infrastructure and digital ecosystems on Platform Equinix®. Establish data center-to-data center network connections on demand between any two ECX Fabric locations within a metro or globally via software-defined interconnection.

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53%

Over half of U.S. adults said the internet has been essential for them personally during the pandemic.

The backbone of the global public internet is its Internet Service Providers (ISPs), enabling access to the internet in conjunction with the world’s telecommunications carriers or network service providers (NSPs). Without ISPs, carriers directly peering with one another to exchange internet traffic, we would not be enjoying the ubiquitous, always on internet that is keeping us working, informed and connected to friends and family.

Expanding your internet access? Think globally.

If you’re an enterprise looking to expand your internet presence, it helps to think globally when selecting an ISP. Even if you don’t currently have offices outside a specific country, your existing and potential partners and customers most likely do. The global reach and scale of your internet backbone is critical to your ability to stretch your internet access wherever you need it to be at a moment’s notice.

Take Equinix and Hurricane Electric for example; our two companies have been working together for over 18 years  ̶  an eternity in internet time  ̶  to help create the internet peering backbone that exists today. Back in 2000, there were only 361 million internet users online globally, compared to today’s 4.57 billion users around the world.[ii] Scaling to support this massive growth of users around the world required a global footprint in which to interconnect internet, telecommunications and network provider ecosystems for the most efficient IP peering.

Today, there are more than 210 Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers in 55+ global markets across 26+ countries on 5 continents on Platform Equinix®.  Hurricane Electric holds the distinction of being in the majority of those markets, with deployments in 60 IBX facilities across 40 global metros. Hurricane also extends its backbone into Africa and has the most interconnected internet service in the world, with more than 250 exchange points globally where they share traffic with 8,000+ different networks. Notably, Hurricane Electric recently became the largest ISP on Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™), which opens up access to its global internet backbone to Equinix’s 9,700+ customers, including 3,000+ enterprises, 1,800+ NSPs and 2,900 cloud and IT service providers. Hurricane is offering connections to its customers on the ECX Fabric around the world, where users can be interconnected to Hurricane Electric, other ISPs, and cloud and network providers on Platform Equinix.

Future-proofing internet networks

Both Equinix and Hurricane Electric do business under a vendor-neutral, open peering policy. Equinix operates the largest global IP peering solution across more than 30 markets via its Equinix Internet Exchange. Hurricane Electric participates in all of those markets. This affords a tremendous amount of “gravity” that creates internet scale and resiliency, which is critical to future proofing internet access and growth.

4.57 Billion

Back in 2000, there were only 361 million internet users online globally, compared to today’s 4.57 billion users around the world.

In addition, Hurricane Electric offers 1, 10 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) solutions, 1 & 10 Gigabit Ethernet are supported on ECX Fabric today. Hurricane Electric provides the highest end-to-end internet bandwidth capacity around the globe on Platform Equinix with:

  • Five redundant 100 GbE paths crossing North America
  • Four separate 100 GbE paths between the U.S. and Europe
  • 100 GbE Rings in Europe, Asia and points of presence (PoPs) in Australia and New Zealand

Hurricane Electric also operates the world’s largest IPv6 backbone and the most interconnected IPv4 network, offering both internet protocol solutions over the same physical connection. Migrating your internet network from IPv4 to IPv6 is critical for future internet user growth. IPv4’s 32-bit unique addressing space only supports 4 billion unique addresses and will soon run out of room given that 41% of the world has yet to be connected to the internet.ii IPv6’s expanded 128-bit unique IP addressing space will support up to 340 undecillion unique addresses, which will be more than enough to connect the rest of the world.

Building your internet backbone on a single global interconnection platform

During this unprecedented time of high internet usage, both Equinix and Hurricane Electric are seeing an acceleration of upgrades in the number of internet connections and speed, with some customers even increasing capacity by two times or more. To spin up internet access quickly and efficiently, using an “adaptive consumption model” similar to cloud services, requires a consistent global interconnection platform that can deliver the internet access services that businesses need on-demand. To meet this need, Hurricane Electric has plans to leverage Equinix’s ECX Fabric and Internet Exchange APIs to deliver its internet connectivity as a service to its customers around the world.

As a privately-owned company, Hurricane’s highest priority is meeting its customers’ requirements for fast, reliable and scalable internet interconnection with the best quality of service possible. Hurricane Electric can provide enterprises with secure connections to the internet, networks and clouds on Platform Equinix via ECX Fabric’s private software-defined interconnection. Through a single physical port, Hurricane Electric customers can quickly and securely exchange internet traffic in addition to establishing private and public interconnection to cloud services.

You can learn more about Hurricane Electric via the Equinix Marketplace.

[i] Pew Research Center, “53% of Americans Say the Internet Has Been Essential During the COVID-19 Outbreak,” April 30, 2020.

[ii] Internet World Stats, Q1 2020.

41%

41% of the world has yet to be connected to the internet.