5 Equinix Fabric Use Cases for Network Service Providers

NSPs across the world are turning to Equinix Fabric to enable modern, differentiated network services

Kevin Odom
5 Equinix Fabric Use Cases for Network Service Providers

Today’s network service providers (NSPs) face an increasingly complex landscape of business customers needing connectivity for their enterprise. Hybrid networks that combine traditional private networking technologies with SD-WAN solutions, VPNs, and cloud-based connectivity have become the norm, altogether redefining what customers expect from their NSPs. To keep up with the needs of their customers, NSPs are turning to Equinix Fabric™.

Equinix Fabric is our on-demand virtual interconnection service that powers connectivity for Platform Equinix®. It features a publicly documented, standards-based interface framework for enterprises and service providers looking to easily extend their network infrastructure into the global digital ecosystem. Equinix Fabric enables NSPs to make low-latency connections securely and dynamically to customers, other service providers, and within their own infrastructure. Additionally, Equinix Fabric helps NSPs realize both capital and operational savings for their customers:

  • NSPs can aggregate multiple virtual connections on a single physical port, resulting in lower CAPEX costs than underutilized, individual physical connections.
  • NSPs can deploy and manage network infrastructure more efficiently, helping their customers see lower OPEX costs.

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Equinix Fabric™ Data Sheet front cover

More than 350 service providers use Equinix Fabric today to deliver services to their customers. Of those, major NSPs such as Verizon, AT&T, Colt Technology Services, euNetworks, and Telstra interconnect their networks with Equinix Fabric to support a variety of valuable use cases, including:

  • Connectivity to cloud.
  • Rapid service provisioning.
  • Network infrastructure agility.
  • Interconnection with other NSPs.
  • Industry-specific solutions.

Finally, perhaps the most significant source of business value NSPs gain from Equinix Fabric is access to our unique digital ecosystem. The Equinix Fabric ecosystem includes thousands of potential customers and hundreds of other service providers. Equinix Fabric’s automated, real-time provisioning experience makes it quick and easy for NSPs to start doing business with new customers or partner with other service providers to drive emerging technology solutions.

Connect to cloud services with efficiency and flexibility

Many of today’s global NSPs use Equinix Fabric as a connectivity on-ramp for cloud services. Equinix Fabric enables them to offer their customers network access to more than 350 service providers worldwide. With the Equinix Fabric self-service web dashboard, NSPs can quickly adjust bandwidth with their backbone network and provision new customer connections in minutes, all while having access to our growing ecosystem of service providers from any of 50+ Equinix Fabric metros.

AT&T partnered with Equinix to give its customers access to secure, geo-redundant cloud on-ramps. As a result, AT&T customers now have reliable cloud access from multiple cloud availability zones across the global Equinix footprint. Access to the right cloud providers in the right places can play a crucial role in enabling digital transformation for AT&T customers.

Help customers connect to network services quickly and easily

Giving customers access to the network services they need quickly, easily, and with flexibility has emerged as a critical differentiator for NSPs, and NSPs are increasingly turning to Equinix Fabric to help achieve that goal. With the help of Equinix Fabric APIs to streamline network infrastructure management and maximize agility, NSPs can create a better overall customer experience.

Colt Technology Services has worked in partnership with Equinix for many years, expanding its Cloud Access Portfolio via Equinix Fabric in 2017, and enabling Colt On Demand connectivity for Equinix Fabric in 2021. This latest joint development allows our joint customers to create and modify network connections in real time by pairing Colt’s very extensive on-demand last mile connectivity in Europe, Asia and the United States with Equinix Fabric services, across both platforms. This results in a simplified end-to-end network experience that is agile, convenient and secure. In addition, a flexible, cloud-like pricing model allows customers to pay only for the network services they use, significantly increasing cost-efficiency.

Expand network infrastructure with agility

Back when NSPs primarily sold private, dedicated networking services, they saw higher, more consistent profit margins than they commonly do today. This meant the services themselves were much more static and predictable. Since network infrastructure would often stay unchanged for many years at a time, it made sense for NSPs to make significant capital investments in that infrastructure.

Now, things are different: agility and cost-efficiency are key, and the business case for standing up capital-intensive PoPs isn’t as easy to justify as it once was. Equinix Fabric helps address this issue by integrating with other Platform Equinix services such as Equinix Metal® for automated Bare Metal as a Service (BMaaS) and Network Edge for virtual network functions from top providers. By bringing together these and other building blocks of hybrid digital infrastructure, Equinix Fabric can help NSPs stand up a new presence with minimal capital expense and begin serving customers in a matter of weeks, not months.

Extend service reach by interconnecting with other NSPs

Connecting to other NSPs using network-to-network interfaces (NNIs) helps NSPs reach more customers without the cost and complexity of expanding their Ethernet infrastructure. Equinix Fabric brings together many different NSPs in one neutral third-party NNI platform. Furthermore, unlike traditional NNIs based on physical cross connects, Equinix Fabric doesn’t require both NSPs to be colocated in the same metro. Instead, NSPs can establish virtual NNIs remotely from anywhere in the world.

Software-defined interconnection for NNIs is also quicker and more cost-effective than cross connects. Rather than having to pass paperwork back and forth every time they need a new NNI, NSPs can take advantage of Equinix Fabric to deploy in a matter of minutes. In addition, link aggregation helps NSPs make the most of their high-capacity ports with seamless capacity expansion.

Offer networking solutions tailored for specific industries

NSPs are increasingly learning that their customers don’t want one-size-fits-all solutions. Enterprises in different industry verticals have unique challenges and concerns regarding their networks. Customers want to know that their needs will be met, whether it’s low latency, enhanced security, or high-availability connections. With the help of software-defined interconnection services from Equinix Fabric, NSPs are creating solutions with their network assets to meet customers’ specific needs.

euNetworks worked with Equinix to create an interoperable data-sharing platform for the healthcare industry in the U.K. innovation corridor running between London and Cambridge and onwards globally. Now, hospitals, universities, and healthcare and life sciences companies can move their data where it needs to go quickly, securely, and reliably, even from remote locations where network services have traditionally been hard to find.

Start your network modernization initiative today

In a landscape increasingly defined by hybrid networks and groundbreaking software-defined networking technologies, the one thing NSPs absolutely cannot do is stand still. Equinix Fabric gives NSPs everything they need to create modern, differentiated network services, including our global data center footprint, a diverse and thriving digital ecosystem, and advanced interconnection capabilities that offer agility and cost-efficiency benefits.

To learn more about how NSPs can benefit from adopting Equinix Fabric, read the Equinix Fabric for Service Providers data sheet.

Equinix is MEF Certified

With our 10 Gbps EPL service, Equinix became the first carrier-neutral, software-defined interconnection provider to achieve MEF 3.0 certification. This indicates that our solutions conform to rigorous industry specifications. Learn more.


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