Networking for Nerds

Networking for Nerds: The Virtual Network Marketplace

How to deploy VNF devices in minutes, without additional hardware

Bupin Kuttatan
Networking for Nerds: The Virtual Network Marketplace

As many companies have experienced during the global COVID-19 pandemic, chip shortages and massive disruptions in every supply chain—from manufacturing to transportation—have put an extended hold on the delivery of physical IT products. This has accelerated the demand for network virtualization and Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) solutions.

Choice in physical networking providers enables more competitive pricing, network redundancy/availability and a variety of network services options. Choice in virtual networking devices from multiple providers is even better because it offers all those things and is faster and more cost-effective than waiting for physical hardware to be available. As the world’s digital infrastructure company™, Equinix delivers leading virtual network functions (VNF) devices at software speed.

Network Edge is a vendor-neutral marketplace from Equinix that enables the automated deployment, configuration and management of VNF devices from leading vendors. You can also get direct and secure access to global cloud service providers (CSPs) on Platform Equinix® using Equinix Fabric™ via your VNF device running on Network Edge.

Here’s how it all works.

Modernize your network, deploy digital-ready infrastructure at the edge virtually, in minutes

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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Network Edge: Step-by-step VNF device selection and deployment

  • Login to the Equinix Fabric Portal to select and deploy VNF devices from leading vendors via Network Edge services.
  • Click on “See Description” to see available device types, software packages, resources, etc.

  • Select and continue to deploy the VNF device.

  • Choose how you want to deploy your virtual device. Note that we do not support clustering for all VNF devices. Check vendor specifications for details.

  • You can deploy a redundant set-up in the beginning or add redundancy at a later stage for a single device. Redundant devices are deployed on different physical devices on Platform Equinix.
  • Begin creating your edge(s) using one or multiple virtual devices in different Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) locations.

  • After choosing your primary location, deploy a redundant device in either the same or a different IBX location.

From here, you can set up your VNF device configuration and choose either the “self-configured” or “Equinix-configured” option, where Equinix will manage these devices. You can also choose licensing options where you can bring your own license or order a subscription via Equinix for Equinix-configured devices. Once all that is set up, you can inventory your VNF devices on Network Edge, as well as add or delete devices in minutes.  Further instructions are available in the following presentation:

Fast access to cloud on-ramps

Once you have your network device configured, it is easy to access the multiple CSPs on Platform Equinix via Equinix Fabric software-defined interconnection in metros from around the world using the same portal that you used to configure your Network Edge devices.

Network Edge device marketplace

Network Edge services enable you to access VNF devices from the following leading network virtualization vendors: Cisco, Juniper Networks, Palo Alto Networks/CloudGenix, Fortinet, VERSA Networks, VMware Velocloud, Silver Peak and Check Point.

We continue to work with leading vendors in the market to include their devices (e.g., load balancers) on Network Edge. We are also working with existing vendors to add more of their devices. In addition, developers can automate the deployment of virtual devices using Network Edge via APIs and Terraform templates globally on Platform Equinix.

Other Network Edge features include:

  • Accessing your device directly with SSH user
  • Customizing routing directly in command-line interface with NAT and route filtering
  • VPN termination and multisite VPN tunnels
  • 256-bit IPSec encryption
  • Connecting your virtual and physical environments
  • VNF device linking

Network virtualization in minutes, anywhere in the world

As the global pandemic continues to impact chip and system manufacturer supply chains, it is imperative that companies can still deploy critical network resources—especially security—where they are most needed. For many companies, being able to deploy VPNs and firewalls globally enables their remote workers to access corporate resources from any location around the world. SD-WAN and cloud routers that can be deployed in minutes without waiting for physical hardware to be delivered means faster time to market for their solutions.

Below are just a few of the virtual networking use cases you can deploy on Network Edge.

Cloud-to-cloud routing

Seamlessly integrate network services to connect securely and privately to various CSPs across multiple locations, globally. Privately route between on-premises or cloud-based databases and applications in public clouds, optimizing hybrid multicloud architectures.

Network optimization

Localize and optimize traffic at the edge to connect and integrate your cloud and IT services ecosystems on a global platform via fast and secure network virtualization.

Rapidly scale VPN capacity and add additional network access points to maintain business continuity for remote workers, no matter where they are.

Branch to cloud SD-WAN

Reach interconnected ecosystems on Platform Equinix in a matter of minutes, while optimizing
traffic to the branch seamlessly via SD-WAN.

With Network Edge you can:

  • Deploy network services in minutes at predicable costs.
  • Build up virtual networking infrastructure at scale to match opportunity in growth markets and changing work environments and turn it down just as quickly.
  • Support global expansion strategies or regional distribution remotely.
  • Deploy network services faster in countries where importing physical hardware is challenging.
  • Add, delete or change network routers, SD-WAN gateways, VPNs and firewalls at software speed.

 Learn more by reading the Network Edge data sheet or sign up for a free trial.


You may also want to read:

Equinix Network Edge: Laying the path to agile, multicloud networking

Making the Journey from Physical to Virtual – Interconnections – The Equinix Blog

How Network Automation Delivers Tangible Benefits – Interconnections – The Equinix Blog



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