Equinix Fabric Supports Digital Transformation in the MENA Region

Cloud services have become a critical enabler of digital experience for MENA organizations

Kamel Al-Tawil
Equinix Fabric Supports Digital Transformation in the MENA Region

Like the rest of the world, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is moving inexorably to hybrid multicloud infrastructures to support companies’ digital transformation and improve their customers’ digital experience (DX). According to IDC’s May 2021 Infopaper, “The Future of Enterprise: Digital Infrastructure, Distributed Applications, and Interconnected and Hybrid Cloud,”[i]   “With digital transformation initiatives underway, enterprises are being forced to develop future-proofed ‘digital infrastructure.’ They will therefore start implementing more adaptive and flexible infrastructure architectures built on cloud-centric technologies, more ubiquitous deployment options, and more automated IT operations.”

A key conclusion of the report is the following: “With 81% of enterprises applications in the Middle East region having been deployed in the cloud, companies will opt to run their enterprise applications in heterogeneous cloud environments. To address the resulting silos, enterprises should ensure the interoperability of workloads and applications across different cloud environments over the next few years and develop effective application transformation road maps.”

To meet their DX objective, enterprises are seeking greater network agility to help them create digital infrastructures that also include more elastic and scalable hybrid multicloud architectures. With the evolution of Equinix Fabric™ (formerly known as Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric®), Equinix has aligned its capabilities with our enterprise and service provider requirements for improved network agility, as well as supporting hybrid on-premises and cloud environments using common tools and solutions. Our customers are also leveraging Equinix Fabric to maintain the stability, availability and performance of environments and IT resources while innovating their digital infrastructures and reducing costs. The recent blog, “Changing the Way Digital Business Connects,” outlines the evolution of Equinix Fabric and how it has helped our customers create and interconnect digital infrastructures on Platform Equinix over the last six years.

A Cloud-First Approach for a Value-Driven DX Strategy for the Middle East Region

According to IDC, the current pandemic situation has revealed that organizations that invest in digital transformation (DX) and cloud solutions are better placed to respond to these unprecedented times.


Accelerating network transformation with interconnection

The fastest and most cost-effective way to achieve network optimization in support of digital transformation is via interconnection, the ability to connect directly and dynamically to networks, cloud services, and other enterprises via a global network of vendor-neutral colocation data centers, such as those found on Platform Equinix®. The ability to exchange large volumes of data through this type of direct and secure private interconnection is essential to compete in the digital economy.

According to Equinix’s 2020-21 Global Tech Trends Survey, 80% of IT decision-makers in the UAE said they believe interconnection —the direct and private exchange of data between organizations — will help them to navigate the challenges they face due to COVID-19. There has also been a major overhaul of IT strategies to meet the challenges emerging from the pandemic. Three-quarters (75%) of IT decision-makers in the UAE say they will move more functions to the cloud, in line with last year. And of those who are moving on or off the cloud, 73% expect this to take place in the next 12 months. And according to the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) report, a market study published by Equinix, between 2019-2023, installed interconnection bandwidth capacity is expected to achieve a 45% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) worldwide, with interconnection to cloud and IT service providers making up 22% of the mix in 2023. We fully expect the MENA region to keep pace with this global trend, where connecting to multiple “best-in-class” clouds is a necessity to support a variety of applications and workloads with the best performance and return on investment.

Powering digital infrastructures with Equinix Fabric

To meet the demand for interconnection in the MENA region, Equinix, in association with alliance partner and global communications hub datamena, has launched Equinix Fabric in the Dubai International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center, DX1. Equinix Fabric is an on-demand, software-defined networking (SDN)-enabled interconnection service.

Interconnection via Equinix Fabric enables enterprises to obtain the direct, private, high-performance access to the services they need to build sophisticated solutions in a hybrid multicloud world. The advanced interconnection capabilities of Equinix Fabric provide on-demand access to multiple clouds and networks, streamline cloud adoption processes, accelerate time to value and deliver higher quality and more secure cloud user experience. We also recently announced automated partner and customer discovery that allows businesses to connect to any enterprise or service provider across Platform Equinix worldwide, increasing the interconnection reach to service providers, partners and customers by more than 3x (from 2,300 to over 10,000).

Equinix Fabric also minimizes security threats through its secure, high-performance dedicated connections. The private connections bypass the public internet, making it easier to manage a wide range of business and technology risks and create a secure hybrid multicloud environment.

With flexible bandwidth options, WAN-optimization and leading SD-WAN solutions (via Network Edge services), Equinix Fabric makes it easy to automate on-demand connectivity to clouds in minutes based on evolving requirements. This includes the ability to connect with multiple partners over a single physical port and using dynamic bandwidth allocation to simplify hybrid multicloud deployments. Equinix Fabric also reduces the latency of interconnecting to clouds by a minimum of 30% and lowers cloud connectivity and network traffic costs by 60% to 70%.[ii]

The latest seamless integration of edge services via Equinix Fabric including Network Edge and Equinix Metal™. This expands customer access to leading virtual networking and bare metal computing capabilities at software speed. We’ve also added network orchestration capabilities via industry-standard APIs and vendor-neutral developer platforms for our solutions on Platform Equinix.

Designed for scalability, agility and global interconnectivity, Equinix Fabric is currently available across more than 49 global metros through a self-service portal and will be available in 57 markets across the globe by the end of 2021.

For more information on the demand for cloud strategies in the MENA region, download the IDC Infopaper The Future of Enterprise: Digital Infrastructure, Distributed Applications, and Interconnected and Hybrid Cloud   

You also may want to read:

[i] IDC, “The Future of Enterprise: Digital Infrastructure, Distributed Applications, and Interconnected Hybrid Cloud,” IDC InfoBrief, 2021.

[ii] Forrester Consulting, “The Total Economic Impact™ of Equinix,” a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Equinix, published in April 2019.

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Kamel Al-Tawil Managing Director, MENA
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