We’re now well into the third year of the pandemic, and the business challenges are only continuing to pile up. Whether it’s supply chain disruptions, geopolitical instability or labor shortages, enterprises certainly have their work cut out for them, and most of them have realized these challenges are just too big to tackle alone.
Instead, we see digital leaders tapping into partner ecosystems to access infrastructure and IT capabilities as a service. This continues the trend of IT services living outside traditional enterprise-owned data centers, whether that means in the cloud, with a SaaS provider, or at the edge. According to 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, 57% of organizations surveyed said they expect to rely more on cloud-based technologies than they did before 2020.
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Organizations need to connect with partners quickly, reliably, and securely, from wherever they do business. At Equinix, we’ve seen first-hand how this has led to a growing preference for private interconnection. Data from the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) Volume 5 shows this growth in real terms: the GXI forecasts that private interconnection bandwidth will be 15x larger than the public internet by 2024, up from only 9x in 2021.
Virtual interconnection is growing quickly among Equinix customers
Drilling down into this trend, customers continue to add more cross connects (387,400 and growing) while virtual connections are growing even faster: about 31% between Q1 2021 and Q1 2022. More than 3,000 customers are now using Equinix Fabric™, about one-third of our total customer base. Those customers have been consistently growing the number of virtual connections on Equinix Fabric since we released the service, reaching an all-time high of 40,000+ in Q1 2022.
The preference for virtual is particularly strong among businesses connecting to cloud hyperscalers. Of the total connections Equinix customers have made to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Oracle Cloud, about 66% of them are virtual.
We’ve also seen that the shift toward virtual interconnection doesn’t just apply to any one market segment. Virtual interconnection is being adopted by enterprises, network service providers, cloud service providers, and various other organizations. It’s also used to support many different use cases, including hybrid multicloud networking, data center interconnection and SD-WAN.
Across these markets and use cases, customers are choosing Equinix Fabric because it has a proven track record of fast, reliable interconnection to ecosystems worldwide, giving enterprises more options to adjust their digital infrastructure on the fly. As businesses face a world of uncertainty and disruption, having on-demand access to hundreds of cloud, network and security service providers helps ensure they can adapt quickly to whatever comes next.
Understanding the past—and future—of Equinix Fabric
We originally launched the service under the name of Equinix Cloud Exchange (ECX), based on the simple idea that customers should be able to connect to any cloud provider quickly and privately, anywhere in the world.
Since then, we’ve seen customers use the service for much more than just cloud connectivity. It has become the standard for privately connecting digital leaders to everything and everyone that matters to their business, so we renamed the product to better communicate that value.
The newly named Equinix Fabric continues to support hybrid multicloud connectivity, but also helps customers access network services in minutes, integrate bare metal servers from Equinix Metal™, and connect virtual devices from Network Edge. It’s no wonder we like to say Equinix Fabric brings together the building blocks of digital infrastructure by integrating both Equinix and partner services. Customers can also use Equinix Fabric APIs to easily automate these integrations. This allows them to deploy or manage connections consistently, and with minimal human intervention.
Today, we continue to roll out Equinix Fabric access in more places throughout the world to meet customer demand that’s as strong as ever. We’re dedicated to meeting our customers’ digital infrastructure and interconnection needs, no matter where those needs may arise. We’re also continuing to invest in new features that make Equinix Fabric easier to use and more helpful for customers. This spirit of innovation is best captured by the 20 U.S. patents we currently hold that protect Equinix Fabric technology.
Equinix Fabric offers more interconnection partners, in more places
Equinix Fabric is a leading interconnection platform, and no competitor can match our experience and technical expertise, our commitment to innovation, our large and diverse ecosystem of customers and partners, and the billions of dollars we’ve already invested to build out our global digital infrastructure footprint.
Distributed digital infrastructure depends on being able to interconnect with the right partners in the right places, right when you need to. Equinix Fabric offers direct, private access to an ecosystem of hundreds of service providers, in more than 50 markets across the globe.
To learn more about how Equinix Fabric can meet your interconnection needs, now and into the future, read the Equinix Fabric data sheet today.
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See the videos below for quick demos of two key Equinix Fabric use cases: hybrid multicloud networking and data center interconnection.
 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence. “Voice of the Enterprise: Digital Pulse, Business Reinvention and Transformation.”