Hybrid Work Is Here to Stay, and Peering Can Help Support It

Enterprises can take advantage of peering use cases to empower remote worker productivity from anywhere

Juergen Kaus
Hybrid Work Is Here to Stay, and Peering Can Help Support It

If we needed a lesson on the importance of business agility, we certainly got it over the past two years. The COVID-19 pandemic forced enterprises to scrap existing business models and improvise to come up with something new. We can now see how businesses that prioritized digital-first strategies before the pandemic were best positioned to successfully navigate the disruption. According to the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) Volume 5, digital leaders moved 4.5x farther ahead while traditional business was still getting its bearings.

Now that businesses are tentatively planning for a post-pandemic world, it’s clear that remote and hybrid work are here to stay. Major brands like Amazon and Intel have acknowledged that rejecting remote and hybrid work could cost them talent.[1] Some newer companies are bypassing central offices altogether, in favor of a remote-first workforce.

The pandemic may have been the spark that initiated this shift, but the shift itself is still ongoing. To prepare for permanent hybrid work, business leaders must rethink processes, systems and infrastructure to protect against new threats, ensure effective communication, and empower workers to be productive from anywhere. Peering directly with partners can play a key role in meeting the needs of the hybrid workforce.

Reach Everywhere and Everyone

The Equinix Internet Exchange™ allows networks including ISPs, Content Providers and Enterprises to easily and effectively exchange Internet traffic.

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Addressing the rising threat of DDoS attacks

2021 was a record year for distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and this year is shaping up to be even worse.[2] This isn’t solely due to the shift to hybrid work: DDoS attacks are increasing because they’re a low-risk, high-reward activity for cybercriminals. Botnets and DDoS as a Service offerings have grown cheaper and more widely available, bringing down the barrier to entry for attackers. Enterprises have also demonstrated a willingness to pay higher ransoms, making the attacks more lucrative.

The shift to hybrid work has exacerbated these trends. It’s created a wider attack surface, with more endpoints in more places, making life more difficult for cybersecurity teams. Enterprises also have more to lose now, as a successful DDoS attack could keep remote employees from accessing the systems they need to do their jobs. It’s no longer sufficient for enterprises to wait for an attack to occur and then figure out a mitigation strategy. They need a clearly defined plan before the attack takes place. This plan should include a mitigation partner that can remove abnormal traffic and scale capacity on demand.

Peering services from Equinix Internet Exchange® can give DDoS mitigation providers the reliable, low-latency connectivity they need to serve enterprise customers. Since peering moves traffic locally over a dedicated interconnection, DDoS mitigation providers can use it to ensure high performance by reducing network hops and congestion.

Equinix Internet Exchange also features remote-triggered black hole (RTBH) capabilities to drop attack traffic before it reaches the router. If high volumes of attack traffic do get through, our status as the world’s largest peering provider—both in number of peering partners and amount of traffic moved between peers—makes us uniquely positioned to help DDoS mitigation providers and their enterprise customers weather the storm.

Ensuring effective communication worldwide

One myth surrounding the shift to hybrid work is that performance will suffer if colleagues can’t see and talk with each other in person. This is a valid concern, but deploying unified communications (UC) platforms that include a variety of synchronous and asynchronous communication tools can help address it.

The challenge of using UC platforms effectively is that they require secure, low-latency connections to support remote workers spread out across the globe. The public internet is not ideal for such traffic, as it’s unreliable and might put sensitive company data at risk. Peering allows UC providers and their enterprise customers to bypass the public internet using a private, dedicated interconnection.

Equinix Internet Exchange is available in more than 40 markets across the globe, making it easy to get as close as possible to as many remote workers as possible. This helps ensure extremely low latency, which in turn helps enterprises replicate in-person communication for their remote workers. The Equinix Internet Exchange peering ecosystem is home to many top UC providers. This includes Zoom, which used Equinix Internet Exchange and other Equinix offerings to scale its UC platform securely and reliably.

Global Equinix Internet Exchange locations

Empowering productivity and collaboration from anywhere

The Gartner® Research ebook “Redesigning Work for a Hybrid Future”[3] names investing in cloud-based services as one of the best practices for meeting the “everywhere” needs of hybrid workers:

“Cloud providers deliver reliable service regardless of worker location, while allowing enterprises to quickly shift capacity in response to disruption.”

One way cloud providers support the shift to hybrid work is by providing reliable access to productivity and collaboration apps like Microsoft 365. These tools ensure that all employees have the capabilities they need to do their jobs effectively, and that they can share work and collaborate with colleagues using a common toolset. These tools are vital to the success of any hybrid work strategy. If employees are unable to access these tools, even temporarily, their productivity will suffer.

The size and diversity of the Equinix Internet Exchange peering ecosystem helps keep cloud-based apps available when and where they’re needed. Enterprises can create new peering connections with app publishers and cloud providers like Microsoft Azure on demand. This helps ensure consistent, low-latency access to the capabilities remote workers need to function at the highest level.

Get started with peering from Equinix Internet Exchange

The only constant in the business world is change, and no one company can successfully navigate that change alone. To adapt to changing conditions quickly and cost-effectively, businesses need to tap into an ecosystem of partners sharing services, applications and data across the world.

Equinix Internet Exchange can help your organization find the partners it needs, and connect with them on demand. Once you join the exchange, you can feel confident you’ll find the right partners to meet your business agility needs—whether it’s adapting to hybrid work or whatever other changes come your way next.

To learn more, read the Equinix Internet Exchange data sheet.

 

 

[1] CNBC, “Amazon, Intel and other tech companies acknowledge rejecting remote work could cost them talent”. Annie Palmer, February 2022.

[2] Data Center Knowledge, “Denial of Service Attacks Expected to Get Bigger, Nastier”. Maria Korolov, February 2022.

[3] Gartner Research, “Redesigning Work for a Hybrid Future”. Authors: Alexia Cambon, Graham Waller. Updated August 2021, ID CM_GBS_1215530. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

Peering directly with partners can play a key role in meeting the needs of the hybrid workforce.”