Equinix and Cisco Optimize Software-Defined Cloud Interconnection

SDCI between enterprises and clouds, along with public internet access, enables an end-to-end hybrid multicloud architecture

Kevin Skahill

Many of today’s enterprise networks were designed to solve a specific problem, such as providing a corporate network backbone that company facilities connect into to access centralized IT infrastructures and services. These monolithic architectures are not flexible enough to meet the changing needs of users or applications that require real-time responsiveness from more agile and scalable digital services such as those provided by cloud and SaaS providers.

Software-defined cloud interconnection (SDCI) is an optimized and cost-effective answer to directly and securely interconnecting cloud, network and internet service providers. It allows businesses to connect to an SDCI hub via a single physical port and access multiple private and public clouds, SaaS, network and public internet providers. SDCI hubs can more quickly and easily be deployed at edge locations without additional hardware to design new network architectures that address today’s user requirements.

As long-time strategic alliance partners, Equinix and Cisco have collaborated together on the ability to make Cisco’s SD-WAN available with Equinix Fabric™ and Network Edge services from Equinix. We are very pleased to announce we are expanding this partnership and will launch Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Interconnect with Equinix to be available in the second half of 2021. The coming solution will automate the instantiation of Cisco’s high-performance global SD-WAN platform on Network Edge and enable private interconnection to Equinix’s rich ecosystem of clouds, SaaS platforms, network providers and vertical ecosystems to accelerate their digital transformation.

Software-defined cloud interconnection (SDCI) is an optimized and cost-effective answer to directly and securely interconnecting cloud, network and internet service providers."

Equinix Fabric™ Data Sheet

Equinix 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 Equinix Fabric™ locations within a metro or globally via software-defined interconnection.

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Equinix Fabric

Equinix and Cisco delivering SDCI for hybrid multicloud architectures

Equinix and Cisco have been delivering solutions to joint customers that enable direct and secure hybrid multicloud access through SD-WAN private interconnection. This includes deploying appliances for steady state workloads and now we’re adding elasticity by delivering dynamic and automated SDCI solutions that integrate the Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Interconnect with Equinix Fabric™ and Network Edge services on Platform Equinix® through the integration between Cisco vManage and the Equinix Fabric Customer Portal and Application Programming Interface (API).

Network Edge services from Equinix are optimized to deploy network functions virtualization (NFV) infrastructure on Platform Equinix from leading NFV providers in minutes, including Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Interconnect. Via Network Edge and Equinix Fabric, Equinix and Cisco customers have gained seamless private interconnection with Cisco Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000V Series. Currently, more than 50% of our Network Edge customers are using the Cisco CSR 1000V. This combined solution has been tested and proven over time.

Once available, Network Edge and Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Interconnect will deliver the following use cases:

  • Existing Cisco CSR 1000V customers on Network Edge can leverage the tight integration between the two companies. This enables a smooth migration with less risk via auto provisioning to new Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Interconnect features and capabilities.
  • Cisco SD-WAN customers who have yet to deploy Cisco CSR 1000V on Network Edge, can now seamlessly get on the SD-WAN Cloud Interconnect solution in minutes.
  • New Cisco SD-WAN and Network Edge customers can be assured that they will gain the full support of both companies.

Equinix delivers the industries’ largest combination of public and private interconnections between users, last-mile network providers and CSPs that enable the Cisco SD-WAN overlay fabric infrastructure.

High-speed, low-latency software-defined interconnections enabled by Equinix Fabric provide fast on-ramps to leading cloud and SaaS providers on Platform Equinix, such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud, VMware Cloud, Cisco Webex® and Salesforce. You can explore the full suite of providers available on Fabric, by metro, at the Equinix Fabric Service Provider Availability tool.

Direct access to public internet providers can also be enabled via Equinix Connect for connecting users to the global, high-performance Equinix and Cisco SD-WAN infrastructure.

Equinix and Cisco SD-WAN Network Service Architecture
Region + Core SD-WAN Fabric Overlay

Multiple Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers point of precense (PoPs) are connected to the global Cisco SD-WAN overlay fabric via Network Edge services and Equinix Fabric.

Equinix and Cisco SDCI integration and use cases

Equinix and Cisco provide end-to-end SD-WAN deployment, configuration and management via a single-pane of glass experience using Cisco vManage. Through vManage, Cisco customers will be able to deploy NFV devices, such as the CSR 1000V and Catalyst 8000V routers, on Network Edge. Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Interconnect configures these NFV devices, then dynamically sets up Equinix Fabric connections, providing a seamless, global, end-to-end SDCI deployment, connection and management experience for the user. This Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Interconnect integration builds upon the existing joint investment and co-innovation between Equinix and Cisco and will serve as the platform for more developments in the future.

Read Cisco’s SD-WAN Cloud Interconnect with Equinix announcement.

The rich Equinix ecosystem is made available to the enterprise with the Cisco and Equinix SDCI solution in the following ways:

  • Network Edge and Equinix Fabric provides enterprises with a complete suite of private and public interconnection that can be dynamically implemented from last-mile private connectivity using “bring your own carrier” (BYoC) from more than 1,800 network service providers (NSPs) and provide a fast on-ramp to over 300+ CSPs on Equinix Fabric.
  • They allow enterprises to leverage best-of-breed CSPs and the opportunity to work with their NSPs of choice and leading digital infrastructure providers such as Cisco and Equinix.
Equinix and Cisco have been delivering solutions to joint customers that enable direct and secure hybrid multicloud access through SD-WAN private interconnection."

High availability across a global SD-WAN backbone

Equinix Fabric has built-in features to provide the highly available network experience that enterprises need. Redundant network links coupled Network Edge device linking and clustering, ensure high-availability. Additional highlights of the Equinix high availability capabilities include:

  • Site access redundancy between Equinix IBX data centers and single region and multi-region cloud redundancy – dual link and dual router
  • Active/active network redundancy
  • Hybrid infrastructure (physical and cloud) redundancy

Equinix’s more than 220 global data centers across 63 metros in 26 countries deliver the infrastructure redundancy that will provide the foundation for Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Interconnect highly available architecture.

Agile digital infrastructure that meet today’s and tomorrow’s customer needs

Platform Equinix provides dynamic business models to enable various digital infrastructure consumption (OPEX vs. CAPEX) at scale. It also allows for additional enterprise workloads to dynamically run on the automated, interconnected Equinix Metal. This on-demand bare metal-as-a-service is a complement to SDCI architectures.

Businesses no longer have to work around the constraints of legacy network architectures to meet changing customer needs. Equinix and Cisco provide end-to-end SDCI solutions and support that enable digital leaders to adjust their infrastructure for what they need today and future-proof it for tomorrow.

Read more about Equinix Fabric. And you can also sign up for the Network Edge free trial.

You may also want to read the following:

Equinix and Cisco Solution Brief

Transform Your Network with Cisco SD-WAN and Equinix Interconnected Oriented Architecture Solutions

Equinix and Cisco provide end-to-end SD-WAN deployment, configuration and management via a single-pane of glass experience using Cisco vManage."
Kevin Skahill
Kevin Skahill Sr. Director of Product Management for Edge Services