In recent years, it’s become clear that a cloud-first strategy isn’t necessarily a cure-all for IT challenges. Despite the clear benefits the public cloud can offer in some situations, many digital leaders now recognize that it isn’t right for all workloads. For reasons such as data security, application compatibility and cost, organizations are starting to transition from cloud-first to digital-first, seeking out hybrid multicloud architectures that can run each workload where it’s best suited. This could mean a cloud-adjacent infrastructure—on-premises systems positioned in proximity to cloud on-ramps, allowing quick and easy access to services as needed—or “same stack” private clouds, which in many cases are starting to rival public clouds for scalability and performance.
Now that more organizations are moving to hybrid multicloud, this creates new challenges for their testing practices. To take full advantage of what hybrid multicloud has to offer, organizations need to perform proofs of concept (PoCs), but they can’t always trust the results they get when they run PoCs in a lab environment. They need to test in an environment that matches their production environment as closely as possible, and they’ll want to do so without making costly and time-consuming hardware investments.
In addition, they need to make sure they’re testing in a trusted, neutral environment, as a siloed, vendor-specific environment won’t be able to accurately test all the diverse elements that make up a hybrid multicloud architecture. This is where testing with virtual infrastructure and interconnection solutions from Equinix can help.
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Equinix customers can perform proofs of concept in live, connected environments
The Equinix product stack—including Equinix Metal® for automated, interconnected Bare Metal as a Service (BMaaS), Equinix Fabric™ for software-defined interconnection, and Network Edge for rapid access to virtual network services from leading providers—gives enterprises the compute and networking capabilities they need to conduct PoCs for their hybrid multicloud architectures, quickly and cost-effectively.
By deploying virtual infrastructure and interconnecting with ecosystems of cloud and network service providers, you can remove the expense that comes from investing in hardware to set up a test environment, while also initiating your PoC much quicker. In most cases, you’ll deploy the infrastructure you need to support your PoC in hours, not weeks.
Customers get full access to a live connected PoC environment on demand, with no need for Equinix personnel to get involved. Simply log in, set up your hybrid multicloud architecture, and test until you’ve verified the architecture functions as intended across different scenarios. Once you’re done, you could even move your architecture directly from testing into production. Compared to testing in a lab environment, you can feel more confident that the results you got from your PoC will accurately reflect the results you will experience when you move to production.
An Equinix live PoC can be particularly helpful for organizations deploying hybrid multicloud because these architectures can’t be properly tested inside a siloed environment operated by a single cloud provider. For instance, an architecture that uses Amazon Web Services for core compute capabilities and Google Cloud Platform for analytics capabilities would still have to link back into non-cloud services. The only way to truly understand how the diverse elements of this architecture would perform and interact with each other would be to use a neutral third-party testing environment, such as the one offered by Equinix.
Equinix live PoC environment plays a key role in deploying virtual infrastructure for charities
A good example of this being put into practice is an IT services provider, testing and deploying a virtualized infrastructure solution. The end users for this solution are charitable organizations from the U.K. They needed to transition from a traditional physical hardware architecture that was shared across the charities to a virtualized infrastructure environment capable of offering granular control for each charity. It needed to be a repeatable deployment and have opportunities to implement advanced networking capabilities, such as SD-WAN, in the future.
To further complicate things, each of the charities had experienced a significant drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, so a large up-front capital investment wasn’t realistic for them. They needed a way to design, test and deploy a replacement for their aging IT architecture using OPEX spend only.
With the help of Equinix, the service provider delivered a complete virtual infrastructure solution within one of the Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers in London. The solution includes virtual routers and firewalls from Network Edge, and uses Equinix Fabric to interconnect with network service providers, internet service providers and cloud on-ramps.
The customer was able to deploy the solution quickly and cost-effectively, in line with the requirements of the end users. They were able to do this in large part because they performed a live PoC to test the various elements of the solution without having to invest in hardware or perform time-consuming set-up beforehand. Once the PoC was complete, they were able to move directly from testing into production, feeling certain what they saw during the PoC would be exactly what their end users would experience after they started using the virtualized infrastructure.
Get started with faster, more cost-effective PoCs today
Whether you’re an enterprise looking to get a new hybrid multicloud environment up and running quickly, or a service provider looking for new ways to simplify testing for your end customers, Equinix can help. Equinix customers can access live PoCs via many of our product offerings, where Equinix Metal is generally a great place to start. Learn more about Equinix Metal today.