The challenge facing businesses around digital transformation is clear: adapt quickly or get left behind. According to the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) Volume 5, 64% of leaders said their organizations needed to build new digital business models by 2023 to remain economically viable.
However, recognizing the need for digital transformation isn’t enough; organizations need an optimized digital infrastructure to help them execute their transformation strategies. Equinix Fabric™ can play a key role in that optimization. Growing numbers of enterprise and service provider customers on Platform Equinix® are using Equinix Fabric to connect digital infrastructure and services on demand at software speed. However, even some of our existing customers aren’t fully aware of everything Equinix Fabric can do to support their digital infrastructure needs.
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That’s why we hosted the ConNext 2021 virtual event to give Equinix Fabric customers a closer look at some of the product use cases and technical features they might not be aware of yet. More than 400 attendees came to the event to see six use cases presented by our Global Solutions Architects, Technical Account Managers, and Product Management teams. During this high-energy event, attendees took advantage of the opportunity to interact directly with their peers and the Equinix technical experts.
Use case 1: Design and deploy for digital acceleration
The COVID-19 pandemic flipped the script around digital transformation. Businesses that once planned to pursue digital transformation over several years found themselves having to compress that timeline into less than a year to overcome the new and unexpected challenges facing them. Simply put, they went from digital transformation to digital acceleration.
Equinix Fabric software-defined interconnection helps IT organizations pursue digital acceleration by connecting with leading public cloud providers at software speed, integrating SaaS offerings with extremely low latency, and expanding into new regions quickly with Network Edge services via virtual network functions (VNF) devices from leading vendors, instead of costly, complex hardware investments.
Expanding to New Regions with Network Edge Services
Use case 2: Interconnect data centers
The shifting digital landscape is leading many businesses to expect a more cloud-like experience from their network provider, with the ability to spin up new services in minutes, instead of having to place an order and wait days for it to be fulfilled.
Equinix Fabric can offer this kind of flexibility and agility, whether customers need to connect their own assets in multiple metros or connect to a cloud service provider in a metro where they don’t have a presence. We offer two options for data center interconnection: Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) and the new Ethernet Private Line (EPL), which customers can use to support encryption via Media Access Control security (MACsec).
Use case 3: Build repeatable infrastructure using Terraform
Once customers start having success with Equinix Fabric, they often want to scale that success by deploying their infrastructure repeatedly. Infrastructure as code options such as Terraform make it quick and easy to standardize repeatable workflows and replicate them in Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers around the world in a fast and reliable manner.
Terraform is a cloud-agnostic solution, allowing customers to avoid vendor lock-in and get the same predictable results even when working across multiple cloud providers. To use Terraform with Equinix Fabric, customers would simply write their infrastructure as code, check their execution plan to make sure the configuration matches their expectations, and then apply the changes across cloud providers to reach the desired state of the configuration.
Use case 4: Architect high-availability solutions
As the digital edge grows in importance, many of the same high-availability capabilities that were once built in the digital core will now have to be built at the edge as well. This will require a new approach: using virtual connections via a single physical port on Equinix Fabric, businesses can connect to multiple network and cloud partners and/or services from the same partner.
In addition, Equinix Fabric chassis groups house dual physical ports and are arranged to have primary and secondary switches in each metro, meaning that redundancy is built into Equinix Fabric by default. Starting from this foundation, customers can create a high-availability environment by expanding the primary and secondary planes in both directions, ensuring redundancy for data ingress and egress.
Hybrid Cloud Environment with Redundant Planes
Use case 5: Create multi-region cloud networks
The typical multi-region network features a hub in at least two regions, connected to a public cloud provider via Equinix Fabric, with the regions sharing a common carrier network. However, this setup is missing the level of connectivity needed to support an enterprise-class high-availability network across regions.
By creating redundant connections between the regional hubs and the Equinix Fabric port, interconnecting the Equinix Fabric ports with each other, and using VPC peering to connect the two cloud environments, enterprises can build multi-region cloud gateways that are configured to respect regional boundaries, keep latency low across the network and be flexible to support future changes in cloud strategy.
Multi-Region Enterprise Cloud Network
Use case 6: Extend your reach with APIs
APIs are unlocking new opportunities around scalability, efficiency and user experience across industries, and the digital infrastructure sector is no exception. Equinix Fabric APIs provide a quick and easy way for customers to:
- Monitor their network to keep track of the health and capacity of ports and connections.
- Integrate with network management tools to create and decommission ports and connections as needed.
- Automate network optimization, such as creating virtual connections to handle traffic spikes.
Take a closer look at Equinix Fabric use cases
To learn more about the Equinix Fabric software-defined interconnection use cases summarized here and find out about new service providers joining our ecosystem, subscribe to the Equinix Fabric ecosystem update.
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Check out the playlist below for on-demand replays of the use case sessions from ConNext 2021.