The Value of API-Driven Digital Infrastructure

How Equinix is automating digital infrastructure deployment and management in the digital transformation era

Ramchandra Koty
Vanjikumaran Sivajothy
The Value of API-Driven Digital Infrastructure

The key to any digital transformation strategy is scaling a digital infrastructure footprint in an autonomous way based on end users’ demands. Every service provider or enterprise ꟷ large or small ꟷ in the post-COVID-19 world is looking for ways to implement their infrastructure into an auto-pilot mode to better focus on delivering services to their customers.

Automating infrastructure for scaling on demand

Automation is one of the industry-proven methods for scaling infrastructure on demand. Infrastructure automation enables systems to perform the following tasks used to deliver information technology services and solutions with reduced human assistance: Discover, Order, Provision, Manage, Monitor, and Support hardware, software, data storage and networking components and operating systems (OS). There are many technology trends around automation, such as DevOps, Infrastructure as Code, Software-Defined Infrastructure, etc. However, the underlying foundation to enable or embrace any of these tech trends is the Application Programming Interface (API).

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Leveraging Equinix APIs for infrastructure automation

Equinix APIs are available via secure gateways to enforce unified Quality of Service (QoS) to regulate Authentication, Authorization, Orchestration, Transformation, and Monitoring of digital infrastructure and services. This allows APIs to provide insights, which were previously buried, to come to the surface and be used to drive better decision-making. When companies have access to data via APIs, it empowers them to make informed decisions, improve customer satisfaction, drive innovation, and identify new business areas. The benefits of using APIs are many, including enabling new digital products, reducing time to market, opening new partner opportunities, enhancing customer experiences and preparing for the future.

Infrastructure as Code powers automation

Digital Infrastructure automation enablement also increases with the learning curve. However, Equinix APIs simplify this process through Infrastructure as Code (IaC). Equinix provides Terraform templates to shift the focus from integrating to configuring and managing the digital infrastructure on Platform Equinix®.

For example, Equinix Metal™ is an on-demand and globally-available service for organizations looking to deploy automated, interconnected bare metal infrastructure. Using Equinix Metal™ Terraform templates, customers can provision and manage Equinix Metal autonomously. Using the Equinix Fabric™ Terraform template, customers can provision Equinix Fabric software-defined interconnection with over 10,000 enterprises and service providers on-demand, including leading cloud and network providers. The ability to fully automate multiple virtual connections between buyers’ and sellers’ cloud infrastructures significantly reduces the time to deliver and access cloud services. And the Network Edge Terraform template enables services that allow automating Deploy and Run for network functions virtualization (NFV) devices ꟷ SD-WANs, cloud routers, virtual private networks and firewalls ꟷ from leading vendors on a generic device instead of adding dedicated hardware.

APIs simplify security and compliance for digital infrastructure

Adoption of security and compliance is an integral part of any digital infrastructure enablement; APIs play a critical role in delivering the value stream in the process of compliance and security enablement. Equinix APIs provide a platform to design, implement and maintain digital infrastructure in a robust and automated fashion.

For instance, Equinix SmartKey® API enables organization to achieve compliance and data sovereignty through limited human interference while eliminating risks from key compromises. Equinix SmartKey provides secure key storage, encryption and tokenization services to protect data in public, private, hybrid or multicloud environments and is available as RESTful APIs.

APIs improve operational efficiency

Automation helps companies remove human error and costs from operational processes. Even a well-documented and clear, repeatable task can result in different outcomes when done by the same or different people. On the other hand, automating a task ensures that it will be performed in the same way every time. This kind of consistency improves operational reliability and efficiency.

API-based systems enable companies to move from a human-centric workflow to an automation-driven and proactive approach. It also allows the implementation of end-to-end infrastructure visibility, traceability, auditability and observability. For example, Equinix IBX SmartView API exposes infrastructure monitoring data and allows real-time access to power draw, environmental monitoring and operating information relevant to the entire Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) footprint, as if those cages were all in-house.

APIs enable DevOps

APIs efficiently enables systems to scale up and down to deliver the right amount of infrastructure. For instance, you can build application monitoring tools based on APIs. These API-based monitoring tools can show you when you need more capacity in your app. You can leverage this information to spin up new web servers and add them to a load balancing pool to increase capacity.

Moreover, API-based systems can show you when your infrastructure is overbuilt, such as using APIs to shut down redundant servers to reduce costs. For example, Equinix Fabric APIs enable access to a globally distributed, on-demand, software-defined interconnection service. Equinix Fabric allows users to configure a single port that directly, securely and dynamically connects to the globally distributed digital ecosystem available on Platform Equinix® in minutes. Equinix Fabric portals also leverage its API to simplify and automate provisioning connections between cloud service providers, networks and enterprises, as well as an enterprise’s infrastructures on Platform Equinix.

API orchestration pulls it all together

To complete the flow of digital infrastructure provisioning and maintenance, there is a need to orchestrate different systems via multiple APIs. Orchestration enables developers to control and enforce the rules of an API ecosystem in one place, using fewer calls. As a result, API orchestration enhances and speeds the development experience.

Equinix provides well-integrated productized APIs to simplify complex integrations and hybrid infrastructure deployments. Building automation on top of these productized APIs provides a facade that simplifies a complex digital infrastructure implementation workflow.

Learn more about Equinix APIs by visiting our Developer Platform.

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