Melbourne an Attractive Location for IT Geo-redundancy

Enterprises to benefit from the launch of Network Edge

David Tairych
Scott Polson
Melbourne an Attractive Location for IT Geo-redundancy

Enterprises in Sydney and other Australian metropolitan locations are opting to use Melbourne-based IT infrastructure for disaster recovery operations, thanks to the cloud infrastructure boom in the southern capital. The city continues to attract strong cloud investment and is on track to become the next major cloud hub.

The reasons for this are twofold.

Melbourne’s population continues to grow, expanding by more than 80,000 in the 2019-20 financial year alone, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The Centre for Population predicts Melbourne’s population will overtake Sydney by 2026. It has also become a natural target for a second round of investment by the big public cloud players. Google recently announced its Melbourne cloud region, joining Microsoft and Oracle, and AWS is expected to add a Melbourne region this year.

Another important development to bolster the city’s appeal as an IT hub is the recent addition of our Network Edge service in our metropolitan campus. In an increasingly dynamic and evolving business environment that demands greater flexibility in network architecture, the availability of a virtual network function (VNF) services ecosystem will simplify how customers connect to clouds.

Melbourne joined Sydney as the second location for Network Edge in Australia, meaning organisations can explore new opportunities to leverage geo-redundancy.

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Simplifying Melbourne cloud connectivity

How organisations build their networks and connect them to the cloud continues to be a critical focus, with Sydney-based companies often faced with challenges in how they deploy their platforms across both metros.

Having a service like Network Edge in Sydney and Melbourne reduces that barrier to entry for many organisations. So, where cost and accessibility of those resources may have been limiting factors in splitting infrastructure across two metros, this can now all be managed at arm’s length and in a consistent way.

One Equinix customer already realising the value in designing their infrastructure in this manner is an Australian software company that needed to enable private access to its US-based cloud environment.  Without any local resources, delivering a resilient network environment was proving a challenge using traditional means. Instead, they embraced a new approach with Network Edge by deploying infrastructure across both the East and West Coast. This not only improved the user experience, but it achieved a level of redundancy that was not previously possible.  More importantly, they didn’t have to set foot in a data centre to do so.

Disaster recovery

One of the more practical applications of a dual-metro platform is to deliver a robust disaster recovery approach.

Whether for compliance with data regulations or for business continuity, organisations are constantly looking for ways to de-risk outages in their platform.  Traditionally, this has been a hard thing to achieve because managing multiple sets of infrastructure across metros requires expertise, as well as physical resources on the ground to manage. An issue that multiplies as these environments grow.

Network Edge instantly removes the hardware challenges of physical infrastructure and customers no longer have to worry about building, configuring and running their environment. The ability to do all of that using software is a significant game changer and for geo-redundancy, provides consistent infrastructure across regions.

For the rest of the world, doing business in Australia primarily focuses on Sydney and Melbourne. However, for access from Asia and Europe, Perth is a key hub for subsea cable landings. The importance of this metro was further highlighted recently with news that the much-anticipated Australia-Oman Cable will go live in the second quarter of this year. The West Australian metro is strategically important to interconnecting growing digital economies across the regions.

A global platform in seconds

Network function virtualisation and software defined networking (SD-WAN) remove the manual effort needed to deploy onsite and simplifies the customer’s view of what it costs to own. It is no longer a burden, and it can be done remotely at the speed of cloud. Geo-redundancy is important, but its value is limited if your provider can’t deliver consistent infrastructure across regions.

Having the capability for highly connected infrastructure that is close to clouds and networks, and the ability to deploy, configure and manage global networking infrastructure in the same way, from anywhere, is essential for global consistency of operations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many enterprises moving toward deploying virtual network functions like SD-WAN gateways, firewalls, virtual private networks and routers. This has been necessary to meet the rising need for fast and secure remote worker connectivity, and to quickly optimise hybrid multicloud networking to accelerate enterprise digital transformation.

At Equinix, we anticipate continued adoption of NFV software to enable the continued acceleration of digital transformation. Virtual networking is a very attractive proposition for enterprises to deploy digital infrastructure at the edge, which is essential to enabling fast and dynamic access to the multiple cloud providers and deploying the technology in just a few clicks.

Network Edge

Network Edge offers a VNF services ecosystem that enables enterprises to deploy virtual network services closest to users, clouds and networks in minutes, without a physical data centre deployment or hardware requirements. Existing VNF vendors include Cisco, CloudGenix, Fortinet, Juniper Networks, Palo Alto Networks, Silver Peak (recently acquired by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company), Versa Networks and VMware.

The ongoing global chip shortage highlights the importance of migrating from physical infrastructure to hybrid multicloud models and services. Additionally, the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to see more dispersed employees and customers in different geographic locations, reinforcing the need to put data closer to the user. As a result, customers are looking to network architecture that is agile, flexible, and easier to deploy and manage, driven by a shift to as-a-service consumption models at the edge of the network. Additionally, by integrating with Equinix Fabric™, customers can access the world’s largest interconnection ecosystem, virtually, extending their reach to potentially thousands of new business partners around the world.

David Tairych
David Tairych Solutions Architect, Asia-Pacific
Scott Polson
Scott Polson Principal Solutions Architect, Asia-Pacific