Virtual Networks Keep You Agile in a Rapidly Changing Environment

VNF devices provide a flexible, cost-effective OPEX solution to move quickly in hybrid multicloud environments

Enoch Lee
Virtual Networks Keep You Agile in a Rapidly Changing Environment

When the pandemic started, physical offices closed almost overnight and forced IT infrastructure to move to the edge. Now, not everyone is going back to the office. According to the Equinix 2020-21 Global Tech Trends Survey (GTTS), 64% of IT leaders today are planning for long-term changes to where and how people work.

At the same time as workers were moving to home offices, businesses were experiencing another repercussion of the pandemic — disrupted supply chains. Most businesses can’t afford to wait the six to nine months it now takes to get physical equipment like chips. In this context, it’s no surprise that there has been a significant shift towards virtual infrastructure in Asia. The GTTS reports that 63% of IT leaders plan to support company expansions by deploying systems virtually, rather than investing in physical IT infrastructure, and 80% of IT decision-makers report digitizing their IT infrastructure is a top priority.

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Platform Equinix is the global interconnection platform for digital business. Our robust interconnection platform hosts an advanced portfolio of digital services and ecosystemsthat allows you to securely scale your digital infrastructure wherever opportunity leads.

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Equinix is the trusted advisor for your digital transformation

Equinix has helped nearly 10,000 customers in 26 countries, representing more than half of the Fortune 500 and over one-third of the Global 2000, achieve their digital transformation goals with Platform Equinix® as their digital infrastructure platform. We have studied how digital leaders build competitive advantage and produced playbooks to guide your transformation. With our insight into the journeys taken by thousands of customers, we can help you benchmark your progress and accelerate it through proven best practices.

One of the cornerstones of digital transformation is virtual network functions (VNF) and we have seen our customers’ demand for NFV double quarter over quarter. With virtual infrastructure, IT departments can support remote workers by spinning virtual network devices up or down instantly, as needed. Digital services have become mainstream, and virtual networks instead of physical networks are the new normal where more employees are working from home.

With Network Edge, you can leverage VNF to explore new markets with less risk. You can save money by creating and interconnecting hybrid multicloud environments and easily set up virtual SD-WANs, cloud-to-cloud routers, virtual private networks and firewalls all over the world in minutes, without purchasing any additional hardware.

Explore new markets with less risk

If a start-up based in Hong Kong wants to explore the U.S. market, traditionally they would need to buy a physical rack in the United States, then set up a physical network there. If the opportunity doesn’t materialize, the equipment would need to be dismantled and shipped somewhere else.

With Network Edge, you can deploy the virtual network devices from different vendors you choose, where you need them and when you need them, in just a few minutes without deploying racks of systems. You can easily configure your network through the Equinix Fabric™ Portal with no upfront CAPEX payment, only OPEX. You pay for only what you need, as you go on a per day basis, keeping your business agile. If you need to shift and connect your network to a new location, this can be done in minutes via the Equinix Fabric Portal.

Equinix has more than 220 data centers all over the world, and with Network Edge you can deploy your new network wherever you need it, leveraging leading VNF device vendors such as Cisco, Fortinet, Juniper, Palo Alto, Checkpoint, Versa and VMware. Our vendor-neutral platform allows you to mix and match different vendors if desired and take advantage of VNF device linking and clustering.

Virtual networks are cost-effective in multicloud environments.

The GTTS reports that 80% of enterprise businesses who use the cloud use more than one cloud service provider (CSP). Network Edge is integrated with Equinix Fabric, which allows you to connect with multiple CSPs, including AWS, Alibaba Cloud, Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud and IBM Cloud. Because multiple virtual connections can be configured via a single Equinix Fabric physical port, you eliminate the cost of making physical connections to each CSP. Equinix Fabric virtual circuits support private interconnection to network devices as well as other network and cloud services on Network Edge on demand, through the Equinix Fabric Portal via a single view. You can test out different CSPs without setting up individual connections for each of them, and you can easily migrate your data from one CSP to another via a vRouter

Virtual SD-WANs (vSD-WAN) provide more flexibility and cost savings

Traditionally, to connect to a global network, enterprise companies need to sign a contract with a global network services provider and set up a physical network device with that provider at remote offices. They are locked in for a set time period at a set bandwidth. Network Edge and Equinix Fabric provide many advantages over this model with SD-WAN as a service. You can adjust the bandwidth when necessary and leverage a pay-as-you-go model, which allows you to access or terminate the service when business needs change. This flexibility can result in a huge cost advantage, especially when businesses need to move a large amount of data from one location to another over time or sporadically.

Virtual firewalls are easy to set up and configure, even with multiple vendors

Internet security has become much more complicated in the digital world, especially in multicloud and hybrid cloud environments. With VNF devices running on Network Edge, it’s easy to choose, configure, and set up as many virtual firewalls as you need, from multiple vendors, all with the click of a button.

Network Edge makes the transition to a digital infrastructure simple and painless. It provides several opportunities for cost savings, and helps your business stay flexible. Try Network Edge today–for free.

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Enoch Lee Network Edge Specialist, Principal Solutions Architect, Asia Pacific
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