One of the takeaways from the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) Volume 5 is that organizations become digital leaders by paying attention to the three pillars of digital infrastructure: the digital core, the ecosystem and the edge. The GXI report looks at the growth of interconnection bandwidth across the globe and provides insights about how this growth directly correlates with digital transformation.
Calgary is an example of what the GXI calls an “edge metro”: a city with one foot in each of the physical and digital worlds, connecting digital infrastructure with end users, edge devices and local marketplaces. The city has a robust and growing economy, with 1,627 new tech companies founded since 2012. This growth is happening not just in energy, a traditional area of strength, but across diverse verticals that include financial services, healthcare and retail.
Despite this, Western Canada has historically been underserved by the cloud providers, and this is finally starting to change. The GXI report shows that edge metros in the Americas are growing interconnection bandwidth faster than core metros—51% CAGR by 2024, compared to only 41%. This growth reflects a clear trend: digital infrastructure is shifting to the edge because that’s where the opportunity is, and there’s accelerating demand for cloud services in places like Calgary. Due to latency requirements, those services need to be deployed locally at the edge, not in core metros that are thousands of kilometers away.
The expansion of Google Cloud Interconnect (GCI) via Equinix Fabric™ in Calgary will help businesses in the area accelerate hybrid multicloud adoption, unlock localized services, modernize applications and maximize their existing database investments on Google Cloud.
Get closer to Google Cloud with Equinix
50% of Google Cloud onramps are at Equinix metros, supported by 11 out of 15 low-latency Google Interconnect locations. Of 34 GCI Metros, 32 offer direct Google Cloud connectivity via Equinix Fabric™.Read More
Accelerating hybrid cloud adoption
Hybrid multicloud adoption has traditionally been challenging for some businesses in Calgary. For these businesses, transferring data across borders creates legitimate concerns about data privacy and sovereignty. For this reason, ensuring data remains within the borders of Canada at all times is ideal. However, since cloud on-ramps have only been available in Toronto and Montreal up until now, maintaining a sovereign data path within Canada meant a cross-country trip for every workload transaction into the cloud. With so many advanced cloud applications requiring extremely low latency—and thus, proximity to data and end users—running those applications from Calgary put businesses at a disadvantage.
The GCI expansion into Calgary changes all this. Digital leaders from across Central and Western Canada will now find it significantly easier to modernize their digital cores using a hybrid cloud architecture. Rather than relying on physical hardware—with long lead times, limited flexibility and high capital expenses—these businesses can leverage on-demand hybrid multicloud infrastructure whenever they need it and adapt at software speed whenever their needs change.
Equinix Fabric also simplifies deployment of Google Anthos, a platform for managing applications and infrastructure across on-premises, edge and cloud environments. This can help further accelerate the move to hybrid multicloud and enable advanced use cases at the digital edge. Anthos gives companies a single common platform that can be deployed where the workload demands are, be it in the field, the office or the cloud. Equinix Metal™, our API-provisioned and enabled Bare-Metal-as-a-Service (BMaaS) offering, gives customers the flexibility to deploy Kubernetes-based applications with Anthos either on VMware or directly on bare metal.
Enabling interconnection—across Canada and the globe
Equinix Fabric helps Google Cloud customers build out their digital ecosystem of partners and customers, both within Canada and globally. Providing access to more than 1,800 network service providers, 3,000 cloud and IT service providers, and 10,000 customers worldwide, Equinix makes it easy to interconnect to partner services that enable digital transformation and innovation, and end users that drive growth in the digital economy.
At Equinix, we view Canada as a vital global gateway for digital business, and we are committed to bringing the best of Equinix to Canada, and the best of Canada to the world. To do this, we’ve invested in Canada to increase capacity and unlock new digital transformation opportunities for Canadian businesses, while also providing attractive targets for multinational enterprises looking to expand into North America.
Global locations with Equinix Fabric and Google Cloud Interconnect
The GCI expansion in Calgary represents the latest chapter in a storied partnership. Equinix and Google Cloud have been working together to bring the best of both companies to our joint customers for years now. Equinix metros are home to nearly half of Google Cloud on-ramps worldwide. With the global network of data centers that make up Platform Equinix®, our customers get the Google Cloud proximity they need to run next-generation applications that require extremely low latency.
Empowering financial services companies to deploy optimized infrastructure at the edge
The ability to deploy edge infrastructure and services locally in Calgary will be transformative across industries, but it may be helpful to focus on one specific example. Banking and financial services are an extremely important part of the Canadian economy, with banks contributing 3.5% of the country’s GDP and directly employing more than 280,000 Canadians. The cloud computing market’s increased presence throughout the country is making it easier than ever for Canadian financial services companies and organizations across industries to access innovative services, improve operations and provide an optimized customer experience.
Banks in Calgary and throughout Western Canada have been early adopters of on-demand cloud access for a variety of core business processes, including customer-facing banking software, advanced data analytics, and AI-driven threat mitigation offered by Google Cloud. As a result, these companies are empowered to process transactions with lower latency, make more informed decisions in real time, decrease capital costs and reduce risk. These customers have translated the efficiencies of the cloud into business value through quicker time to market and a richer end user experience.
One Equinix customer, a large financial services provider headquartered in Alberta, moved away from a two-data-center strategy in favour of running its secondary SAP and disaster recovery platform directly in Google Cloud. The company can now get the disaster recovery capabilities it needs to ensure uninterrupted access to user accounts, while also taking advantage of cloud services that are cost-effective, agile and future-proof.
Take the next step to modernized digital infrastructure in Calgary
To learn more about how Equinix can support your digital infrastructure goals—in Calgary, across Canada or worldwide—read the Platform Equinix vision paper.
 Alberta Enterprise, 2021 Alberta Technology Deal Flow Study
 Canadian Bankers Association, Fast Facts About the Canadian Banking System