How To Converse in Cloud

3 Hybrid Multicloud Scenarios

How businesses are creating and interconnecting hybrid multicloud architectures on Platform Equinix®

Brandon Gore

Cloud has changed the way businesses build, deploy, manage, and collect data. This shift means enterprises need to put cloud resources closer to the user to address latency issues and security requirements without compromising end-to-end high performance.

Deploying traditional hardware-based data centers is expensive, time-consuming, and proves insufficient in terms of the scope and reach demands of today’s digital world. The need for hybrid and/or multicloud solutions is evident across global enterprises. According to a recent report from Flexera, 92% of enterprises have a multicloud strategy and 82% of those businesses are deploying hybrid cloud.

Of course, not all enterprises approach digital infrastructure in the same way. At Equinix, we see this with our customers in all industries and, in order to better address their range of needs, enable three scenarios for enterprises to employ hybrid multicloud architectures with maximum connectivity and agility.

Connect Digital Infrastructure at Software Speed

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.

Read More
Equinix Fabric

3 scenarios for hybrid multicloud connectivity and agility

The long-standing charter of IT organizations is to support the business, but this is becoming harder to do with traditional architectures alone. As building additional hardware infrastructure is time-consuming, expensive, and unrealistic at scale, we see more enterprises moving to “as-a-service” OPEX models to get the solutions they need without being locked into a single vendor or a restrictive architecture.

A single, global platform approach with private, high-speed, low-latency interconnection to multiple clouds accelerates hybrid multicloud value with scale. As the world’s infrastructure company, Equinix  enables three scenarios that a business can deploy on Platform Equinix based on what works best for its  current architecture, budget and digital strategy.

Scenario 1: Hybrid multicloud architectures leveraging software-defined interconnection

In the first scenario, a business already has its systems in an Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center on Platform Equinix. With Equinix Fabric™, we provide software-defined interconnection to multiple cloud providers that is direct, secure and private. This private connectivity links the customer’s hardware in a particular Equinix IBX data center to ones in other Equinix IBX data center metros or to a network, a cloud, other digital and business ecosystems, or even other customers on Platform Equinix. Additionally, a business may access its own digital infrastructure via Equinix Fabric using the public internet or an enterprise backbone network. Using Equinix Connect, businesses can connect users to their infrastructure within IBX data centers via the public internet leveraging high-performance, low-latency connectivity.

This solution allows you to directly and securely connect to cloud service providers (CSPs) to consume resources and services in order to expand what you need to do, from scaling apps and conducting tests to analyzing data. The value of this scenario lives in the fast and easy software-defined interconnection provided to our customers. With the ability to spin up virtual connections through a single physical port, businesses save precious time and money.

For example, an aerospace manufacturer might need to run extensive engine tests and modeling prior to purchasing components from a vendor, but this vendor resides outside of the manufacturer’s metro. Using this Equinix Fabric solution, the manufacturer and the vendor can connect to Equinix Fabric as a service and use it to jointly conduct their tests and modeling. They save time and money, and ultimately make the best choices for their business.

Scenario 2: Hybrid multicloud access via an agile and cost-effective NFV infrastructure

The second scenario allows businesses to reach remote markets and deploy a network function virtualization (NFV) infrastructure for cloud access without having a physical presence. Increasingly, companies don’t want to procure more physical equipment because it’s expensive and extremely time-consuming. This is especially true when trying to set up remote connectivity from legacy data centers to branch locations, clouds and customers at the edge.

Network Edge enables customers to deploy NFV devices from a choice of leading providers, without having to purchase hardware network appliances. An SD-WAN virtual gateway can run on Network Edge in a local metro on Platform Equinix so that data can be processed locally more quickly, rather than backhauling the full distance from the edge to an enterprise’s main physical data center.

For example, by harnessing Network Edge services and Cisco virtual cloud routing, a national transportation company was able to build an optimized, agile and resilient digital infrastructure with low-latency access to multiple clouds to locally analyze its data and update its train schedules for its customers. Network Edge, paired with Equinix Fabric also provided the company fast and secure, redundant connectivity to Microsoft Azure and AWS clouds in two different regions. This helped the company accelerate users’ access to its business applications and transportation services, greatly improving the internal and external user experience, and giving the company much needed resiliency.

Network Edge and Equinix Fabric also allow multiple virtual network devices to be interconnected across metros leveraging NFV device linking and clustering. This means customers can expand their legacy IT infrastructure into infinitely scalable clouds throughout their network.

Customers who choose this second scenario save time and money by not having to purchase more physical devices in order to harvest data, access clouds, and distribute applications to users, wherever they may be. It also solves some of the latency and cost issues associated with backhauling data from the edge to central data centers over multiple network hops.

Scenario 3: Building hybrid multicloud architectures using an on-demand bare metal as-a-service

For those businesses who do not own hardware – because they are born in cloud-based companies or are running cloud-native applications – there is a third scenario where they can seamlessly access Equinix Metal ™, an automated, interconnected bare metal infrastructure offered “as-a-service.”

Think of Equinix Metal as physical infrastructure on demand. This is popular for enterprises as the procurement of hardware is costly, time-consuming and sometimes completely infeasible if they don’t have a data center to put it in. Businesses can provision Equinix Metal with multiple servers/cores and elastic storage capacity. All computing and data storage can be configured as single tenant, making it entirely secure and transparent to the user. With this solution, businesses can create hybrid multicloud architectures that leverage the private connectivity of Equinix Fabric and agile virtual networking of Network Edge.

One example is Grafana Labs, a leading provider of open-source observability and monitoring solutions. To support its work, Grafana Labs needed to have enormous storage, memory and data processing power. This is where the fast and highly scalable on-demand infrastructure solution of Equinix Metal proves its value. Unlike a solution involving physical hardware on the customer side, this scenario gives Grafana Labs an incredible amount of design flexibility without the expense of maintaining and managing physical hardware. In addition, Grafana Labs was able to interconnect across multiple clouds around the globe.

Deploying hybrid multicloud architectures simply, quickly and cost-effectively

High-performance and scalable digital infrastructures are needed to address some of the greatest demands placed on IT today. Hybrid multicloud architectures that leverage agile, flexible and elastic interconnection and bare metal as-a-service options can simplify the complexity and mitigate the costs behind creating and connecting efficient hybrid multicloud infrastructures.

On Platform Equinix, digital leaders build and interconnect foundational infrastructure that enables them to scale with agility, speed the launch of digital services, deliver world-class experiences and multiply their value.

Learn more about how Equinix can help you create and interconnect hybrid multicloud architectures via Equinix Fabric.

You may also want to read:

Powering Digital Leaders e-book.

Learn more about our products and services by contacting sales.


[i] Flexera, “The 2021 State of the Cloud Report,” 2021.

Subscribe to the Equinix Blog