Platform Equinix Speeds Up Hybrid Multicloud Access

A Finnish travel logistics and maintenance company leverages software-defined interconnection to improve cloud application performance

Miika Heikkinen
Platform Equinix Speeds Up Hybrid Multicloud Access

VR Group, a pioneer in the environmentally friendly rail and city transportation business, prides itself on making everyday transport and logistics smooth and sustainable with a strong focus on customer service. In this business, application performance is critical. Customers need to know immediately where their cargo is at a given time, or that they will be able to reserve a seat on a train. Equinix helped VR Group improve cloud application performance and reduce costs by creating an agile digital infrastructure on Platform Equinix™.

VR Group boosts cloud application performance and reduces costs

Equinix and Cisco virtual network backbone speed up hybrid multicloud access at a lower cost for a travel services provider.

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Using software-defined networking to keep Finnish society moving

Owned by the Finnish State, VR Group has kept Finnish society moving for nearly 160 years, and they have a strong track record of innovation. When it was time to replace a cumbersome legacy corporate network that required time-consuming manual operation and maintenance, VR Group’s Architecture team wanted a network that would cost less and be easier to maintain. They knew that a software-defined network would be a good choice.

VR Group’s architects designed a modern network backbone that simplified its hybrid multicloud architecture and eliminated the need to backhaul cloud traffic to the corporate data center. To connect this new network to the cloud, they chose Equinix to help them.

New digital architecture lowers latency by 100x

VR Group’s architects used Network Edge and Cisco virtual cloud routing to build an optimized, agile, and resilient digital architecture. Equinix Fabric™ provides secure, private connectivity with low-latency access between the VR Group data center in Helsinki and AWS and Azure clouds in Amsterdam and London. Equinix Fabric supports private on-demand software-defined interconnection to network devices on Network Edge, as well as other network and cloud services, through a single console interface. Customers can use the Equinix Fabric portal to choose compute/storage resources from Equinix Metal™ or public cloud providers such as Google and AWS. They can also select VNF devices from partners like Cisco and Versa or access 5G networks from AT&T and Verizon.

No other vendor can provide the fast, software-defined accessibility that Equinix delivers to AWS and Microsoft Azure on a single platform. Equinix helped us lower our latency when accessing cloud apps and services by 100x, which greatly improved our user experience.” - Markus Niskanen, Head of Architecture at VR Group

The new network not only improved the experience for VR Group customers and employees by speeding up access to applications and services, it laid the groundwork for additional virtual network functions capabilities and SaaS platforms.

VR Group’s high-performance and resilient hybrid multicloud architecture on Platform Equinix.

Reducing complexity and cost are just the beginning

With the new architecture, VR Group has gained several benefits:

  • Lower costs: The digital infrastructure reduced physical networking equipment and connection costs by 60%.
  • Faster application access: Application performance improved 100x because of the closer proximity to cloud servers, with latency of only 1-5 milliseconds.
  • Reduced network complexity: Configuring a virtual network takes minutes instead of weeks or months.
  • Improved resiliency: Redundant virtual network functions devices and dual-port connectivity via Equinix Fabric eliminate network outages.

“Reducing complexity and cost and increasing resiliency were key to our network optimization initiative,” said Pasi Louko, Senior Network Architect at VR Group. “Network Edge and Equinix Fabric helped us accomplish all three – eliminating manual operations, saving a minimum of 60% in expenses and preventing network outages.”

The Equinix ecosystem includes thousands of businesses and network, cloud and SaaS service providers, all interconnected by the reliable, high-speed, low-latency Equinix Fabric private network. As new technologies emerge, VR Group can leverage their new digital platform to continue to innovate and move closer to Finland’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2035. Learn more about the solution Equinix provided for VR Group by reading the case study.

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