Equinix Increases Network Agility with F5 NGINX Plus Load Balancer

The recent Network Edge release helps enterprises deploy highly available multitiered network stacks with network agility and global scalability

Mason Harris
Equinix Increases Network Agility with F5 NGINX Plus Load Balancer

Today’s customers have grown more demanding than ever. Across industries, end users expect new services and applications that make their lives easier, and they expect those applications and services to be available when and where they want them.

To meet these demands, service providers and their enterprise customers need network agility, and they’re investing heavily in virtual network functions (VNFs) such as those delivered from Network Edge on Platform Equinix® to get that agility. The IDC Worldwide Edge Spending Guide looked at more than 150 edge computing use cases across various industries and domains, and found VNFs were among the use cases driving the most investment:

“The two edge use cases that will see the largest investments in 2022—content delivery networks and virtual network functions—are both foundational to service providers’ edge services offerings. Combined, these two use cases will generate nearly $26 billion in spending this year.”[1]

Revolutionize the way you build and manage your network

Network Edge provides virtual network services that run on a modular infrastructure platform, optimized for instant deployment and interconnection of network services.

Download Data Sheet
Network Edge Data sheet (1)

To help unlock greater network agility while also ensuring high availability, we are proud to announce the NGINX Plus load balancer from F5 is now available as a new Network Edge virtual device. It will be paired with other Network Edge digital services to form a multitiered network stack that can be deployed and scaled much quicker and more cost-effectively than traditional hardware-based network infrastructure. In addition, the load balancer can provide intelligent traffic management to ensure higher resiliency and more control over data paths.

Multitiered network stacks support resiliency and business continuity

This new load balancing capability within Network Edge can be particularly beneficial for organizations that are built on a multicloud architecture and want to maintain business continuity. Today, many customers take advantage of a multicloud approach when building their applications. This minimizes the reliance on a single cloud provider and provides resiliency, especially when the multiple clouds are deployed in the same region.

Network Edge VNF services on Platform Equinix can help support multicloud connectivity. In a matter of minutes, companies can deploy a virtual router to connect to their cloud providers and a virtual firewall to secure customers’ interactions. They can combine these and other VNF services with the load balancer to form a complete multitiered network stack that ensures the availability of the application or database platform.

The F5 NGINX Plus load balancer intelligently distributes traffic between the clouds, ensuring there is no single point of failure. If one of the application layers fails, the load balancer removes it and redistributes the traffic between the remaining servers in the pool. This reconfiguration happens automatically, with no need to restart the infrastructure. The load balancer then adds the server back into the pool as soon as it’s running again, redistributing the traffic accordingly. A by-product of this architecture is the option to send traffic through a security monitoring device that allows for traffic analysis and filtering when required.

A business communications company simplifies network architecture management

One F5 customer, a U.S.-based business communications company, used NGINX Plus load balancing capabilities as part of a solution that helped it reduce architectural complexity, improve server management, limit downtime, and increase application and service performance. To provide uninterrupted access to business communication channels for its end users, the customer maintained a geographically distributed network architecture spanning 8 data centers across the U.S. Managing servers across this distributed architecture had grown costly and time consuming.

Before F5 NGINX Plus Load Balancer

With F5 NGINX Load Balancer

The company turned to F5 NGINX Plus to help it implement a centralized, unified platform for managing its geographically distributed servers. This platform includes virtual load balancers that are significantly less expensive than traditional hardware load balancers and can provide the level of agility and resiliency the customer needs. The load balancer capabilities include session persistence, allowing for the most personalized, efficient experience possible for each individual end user.

Now, thanks to the load balancer and other F5 NGINX capabilities, the company can handle billions of requests every hour while maintaining control over their entire network footprint, no matter where the servers are physically located.

Deploying F5 NGINX Plus load balancing capabilities as part of a Network Edge VNF stack on Platform Equinix is a simple and cost-effective way for customers to increase their network agility globally and deploy low-latency multicloud applications where they need them most.” - Ankit Parikh, Director of Technical Sales, Equinix

Network Edge on Platform Equinix supports network agility on a global scale

Business continuity and business communications are just two examples of how businesses can benefit from the greater network agility and high availability that multitiered Network Edge applications with load balancer services can provide. Since those multitiered applications are deployed on Platform Equinix, it’s easy to set up the agile, reliable network infrastructure you need, no matter where in the world you need it. With Network Edge currently available in 25 metros across the world—and more being added regularly—enterprises can get close to their end users at the edge and expand into new markets in a matter of minutes.

Network Edge Locations on Platform Equinix

By deploying multitiered network applications in proximity to end users, businesses can ensure those applications are available with consistent low latency. This is the first step toward delivering the advanced capabilities and always-on services that today’s empowered customers expect. Deploying on Platform Equinix also makes it easy for businesses to connect with an ecosystem of leading VNF service providers such as F5.

To learn more about Network Edge on Platform Equinix, including our new load balancer function, read the data sheet today.



[1] IDC Press Release, “New IDC Spending Guide Forecasts Double-Digit Growth for Investments in Edge Computing,” January 2022.


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Mason Harris Principal Product Manager, Network Edge
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