How Equinix and IBM Are Boosting Open Hybrid Multicloud

Enterprise cloud needs deep industry expertise, security, reliability and speed

Sam Ho
David McCullough

Hybrid multicloud is not new. According to IBM, 94% of enterprises today are operating in de facto hybrid environments with a mix of public and private cloud, traditional IT, along with numerous SaaS applications. And, 67% are using a mix of multiple cloud vendors, with different tools and management systems for each.[i] A hybrid multicloud approach enables organizations to use the best cloud for the job and avoid vendor lock-in. But in an era when cloud is ubiquitous, what’s the best way for organizations to choose the right cloud for the job?

Flexible, on-demand global interconnection

Equinix Fabric™ directly, securely and dynamically connects distributed infrastructure and digital ecosystems globally 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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Equinix Fabric

IBM open hybrid cloud strategy

IBM has more than 100 years of enterprise IT experience and is leveraging this deep expertise in its cloud strategy. In July 2019, IBM completed its acquisition of Red Hat, effectively becoming one of the top providers for hybrid cloud solutions. Former Red Hat CEO and IBM president Jim Whitehurst recently shared with a Tech Crunch journalist that he believes that IBM (in combination with Red Hat) is able to offer enterprises a very differentiated cloud service. He goes on to explain that, unlike the large hyperscale clouds that are focused on providing homogeneous services at massive volumes, IBM is all about helping enterprises think about how to best run their workloads.[ii]

A big part of this strategy includes leveraging IBM’s extensive array of hardware, software and services, combined with Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud platform, OpenShift®, to help customers move to the cloud. With IBM Cloud Pak®, launched In August 2019, IBM has enabled many of its products to run on OpenShift and created a portfolio of containerized solutions for businesses to build applications in any hybrid IT environment. IBM Cloud Paks support the following use cases:[iii]

  • Applications: Enables application modernization and simplifies cloud-native development
  • Automation: Streamlines workflow automation at scale without the need for application changes, data migration or vendor lock-in
  • Data: Provides easy ingestion of data into platform-based analytics services including artificial intelligence (AI), open source and third-party microservice add-ons
  • Integration: Facilitates easy and secure integration of applications, data, cloud services and APIs
  • Multicloud Management: Offers consistent AI-based visibility, automation and governance across a wide range of hybrid multicloud services
  • Security: Accelerates integration of security tools to generate deeper insights into threats without moving data and automates security breach responses

Why IBM Cloud and Equinix

Equinix and IBM Cloud have a long-standing partnership to help enterprises accelerate their hybrid multicloud journey. Last year we expanded our collaboration to provide more private cloud onramps to IBM Cloud, through Equinix Fabric™. Today Direct Link is directly deployed in 16 Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center metros across three regions:

  • Five Asia-Pacific metros: Hong Kong, Melbourne, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo
  • Four EMEA metros: Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London and Paris
  • Seven Americas metros: Chicago, Dallas, New York, São Paulo, Silicon Valley, Toronto and Washington, D.C.

Enterprises can also easily and privately connect to IBM Cloud from an additional 30 metros worldwide by leveraging Equinix Fabric on Platform Equinix®. Equinix Fabric enables direct and secure software-defined interconnection to networks, clouds and other infrastructure that may not be local to a business’ data center locations, even in metros with no native IBM Cloud Direct Link presence.

Provisioning IBM Cloud Direct Link on-demand

Equinix and IBM have partnered to provide a seamless experience for enterprises seeking to connect their on-premises infrastructure to cloud resources via IBM Cloud Direct Link. The speed and reliability of Direct Link allows you to extend your on-premises network with consistent, high-throughput connectivity that bypasses the public internet. Benefits include:

  • High speed, private connectivity between on-premises data centers and IBM Cloud environments
  • Low-latency, reliable access to IBM Cloud services including Cloud Paks, virtual private clouds (VPCs), bare metal compute, and cloud storage
  • Stability, high availability and security
  • Pay-as-you-go billing from both IBM Cloud and Equinix

Now API integration with ECX Fabric means that businesses can provision IBM Cloud Direct Link through a single portal in minutes. Equinix supports all versions of IBM Cloud Direct Link via the Equinix Fabric Customer Portal as shown below.

Enterprise hybrid cloud in action – an IBM use case

The IBM CIO team was managing a large data center footprint covering every country where they supported IBM employees, resulting in high CAPEX and slower time to respond to changes. As part of their Digital Workplace transformation, they wanted to consolidate their data centers into a few strategic locations and leverage cloud-based services such as Cisco WebEx® and SD-WAN for improved agility and efficiency. By deploying points of presence (PoPs) in Equinix IBX data centers in key locations across three regions, IBM was able to leverage Equinix Fabric to quickly and cost-effectively interconnect their global data centers. As a result, the IBM CIO team was able to achieve significant cost savings, reduced latency and an improved user experience for their internal users.

Learn more about connecting to IBM Cloud via IBM Cloud Direct Link and Equinix Fabric™.


[i] IBM, How a Hybrid Multicloud Strategy Can Overcome the Cloud Paradox, Nov 2019.

[ii] TechCrunch, IBM and Red Hat expand their telco, edge and AI enterprise offerings, May 2020.

[iii] Frost & Sullivan E-Book, CONTAINER MANAGEMENT 2.0: Using IBM Cloud Pak® Solutions to Enhance Your Container Experience; IBM, What are IBM Cloud Paks?, June 1029.

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Sam Ho Senior Manager, Solutions Architect
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David McCullough Principal Product Manager
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