Scaling Your Business the Easy Way—with SD-WAN as a Service

A simpler, faster and less expensive way to expand your business

Tom Yin

SD-WANs are a critical component of digital transformation. Using software-defined networking (SDN) and virtual network functions (VNF) concepts to build and manage a wide area network (WAN) helps businesses successfully transition their infrastructure to the cloud by securely connecting hybrid multicloud architectures. But SD-WANs can do more than just facilitate a transition to the cloud —they make it faster and less expensive to expand your business.

Network Edge - Modernize Your Network, Virtually

Equinix® has built a dynamic network automation tool, enabling you to deploy virtual network services at the digital edge. Network Edge provides virtual network services that run on a modular infrastructure platform, optimized for instant deployment and interconnection of network services.

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SD-WAN is better than hardware

SD-WANs offer clear benefits over hardware-based WANs, starting with better control over the network. SD-WAN gives you the ability to set network policies and routes at an application level, customize and optimize network traffic flow (including through hybrid and multicloud environments) to meet business goals, improve performance and scalability and reduce costs. Even better, you can provision or configure network services in minutes instead of months, easily interconnecting clouds, workloads and other SD-WANs.

Reduce growing pains for your business

A virtualized network can also help reduce the growing pains of rapidly expanding organizations or businesses that are converting to a distributed, remote working model. It is expensive and time consuming from an IT perspective to onboard and integrate new business partners, branches, remote employees, or acquired companies. For example, during the global pandemic, hardware was difficult and time-consuming to ship, making building out infrastructure to connect users even more challenging. With SD-WAN technology, you can deploy networking where you need it, without having to ship or receive additional hardware.

Sharing virtual network services saves on costs for everyone

Businesses who prefer to consume SaaS or cloud services over private connections, rather than go over the public internet, used to have to actually place a private hardware network appliance in a service provider’s facility to gain direct and secure access to applications and/or cloud services. But in today’s digital world, fewer organizations want to invest in costly, purpose-built network hardware, in addition to paying for and managing multiple dedicated network connections with each and every SaaS and cloud provider. It just doesn’t match the as-a-service, pay as you go model that cloud and SaaS is all about.

With Network Edge, enterprises and their partners and customers can share SD-WAN device instances from leading VNF providers across Equinix’s global platform and only pay for the network bandwidth they consume. Previously, the network owner would own and pay for the NE SD-WAN Edge instance. Another option would be for the business partner to own the Edge instance and allow the owner of the SD-WAN network to configure access of the Edge instance. The business partner pays for its SD-WAN edge instance and the SD-WAN network owner maintains control of its network without the added cost of paying for the Edge instance. This network sharing removes the high cost of dedicated, hardware network appliances and cost-effectively aggregates virtual SD-WAN connections within a single VNF device or multiple interconnected VNF devices.

Equinix Fabric software-interconnection, in conjunction with Network Edge, enables organizations to privately connect to multiple cloud and SaaS providers via high-speed, low-latency virtual connections using a single physical port. Equinix Fabric’s dynamic connection provisioning reduces cloud access time from months to minutes. The combination of Network Edge and Equinix Fabric provides businesses with the foundational building blocks to create more scalable and cost-effective hybrid multicloud architectures, which are essential for successful digital infrastructures. In addition, interconnecting SD-WANs via Equinix Fabric™, gives you secure access to Equinix ecosystems, including thousands of network providers, cloud and IT providers, and global enterprise businesses.

This diagram illustrates how an enterprise and database partner are sharing an SD-WAN Gateway device on Network Edge. Equinix Fabric is providing connectivity to Google Cloud to leverage data analytics and Microsoft Azure provides application access to the database.

Scale VNF infrastructure across multiple vendors’ devices

There’s no need to stick to just one individual virtual appliance or network functions virtualization (NFV) infrastructure vendor. With Network Edge, you have access to a whole suite of VNF functionalities from a variety of leading SD-WAN, virtual router, firewall, secure access service edge (SASE) and VPN providers. Our vendor-neutral platform allows you to mix and match VNF capabilities and devices from multiple vendors, clustering VNF devices for enhanced performance, resiliency and security.

With Network Edge, enterprises and their partners and customers can share SD-WAN device instances from leading VNF providers across Equinix’s global platform and only pay for the network bandwidth they consume."

You can choose from a variety of providers, including Cisco, where together we have been delivering a variety of interconnection solutions for years such as:

  • Cloud-optimized WANs with Cisco’s Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000V Series via Network Edge.
  • Software-defined cloud interconnection (SDCI), which automates the instantiation of Cisco’s high-performance global SD-WAN platform on Network Edge to directly and securely interconnecting cloud, network and internet service providers.
  • Cisco Webex® Edge Connect on Network Edge, enabling Webex users to reliably and securely access meetings regardless of location and receive an optimal UCC experience.

And, in August 2021, enterprises will be able to use Cisco’s vManage dashboard to seamlessly deploy and manage Cisco SDCI gateway and routing functions across Platform Equinix via Network Edge, along with all of the other nodes on an existing Cisco SD-WAN network. You will be able to establish and centrally manage consistent policies across your entire network and leverage real-time WAN network analytics to optimize application routing solely through the Cisco vManage console.

Using Cisco’s SDCI gateway, Cisco’s customers can instantly scale up Cisco’s Cloud OnRamp for Colocation deployment to add network capacity for brownfield and scale out to greenfield deployments.

Delivering secure SD-WAN gateways via SASE

Versa Networks leverages Network Edge and Fabric to offer Versa SASE, a secure access service edge and SD-WAN gateway providing a SASE solution that integrates with existing IT infrastructures to provide Security-as-a-Service for client VPN or enterprise branches. It ensures secure web browsing and access to internet business applications and a “zero-trust” SASE solution between the cloud and branch or end user device.

Network Edge extends your global reach and scale

Other supported VNF vendors include Aruba/Silver Peak, Juniper, Fortinet, Palo Alto/CloudGenix and VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud, where available on Platform Equinix. With 15 Network Edge locations all over the world, you can choose and mix and match the Network Edge services that are closest to the destination that you want to connect to with reduced latency and improved application performance.

Our vendor-neutral platform allows you to mix and match VNF capabilities and devices from multiple vendors, clustering VNF devices for enhanced performance, resiliency and security."

Network Edge locations live today

AMER: Ashburn, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, Toronto, Sao Paulo

EMEA: Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt, Madrid

AP: Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong

Network Edge coming soon

Helsinki, Los Angeles, Montreal, Miami, Paris, Dublin, Melbourne and New York

Ready to give it a try? Watch the demo, or take Network Edge for a spin with our free trial.

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With 15 Network Edge locations all over the world, you can choose and mix and match the Network Edge services that are closest to the destination that you want to connect to with reduced latency and improved application performance.