Equinix and Orange Partner to Accelerate Cloud-Native Telco Deployments

With Platform Equinix’s Metal offering, Orange can deploy its business connectivity services in new markets quickly to keep up with skyrocketing customer demand

Zac Smith
Equinix and Orange Partner to Accelerate Cloud-Native Telco Deployments

Businesses around the world rely on global network carriers like Orange for a mind-boggling variety of services powered by their global backbone networks: from internet connectivity to VPN access, SD-WAN, voice, 5G, security and managed applications.

Those same underlying networks power the world’s consumer wireless services, and much of the infrastructure comprising them lives on Platform Equinix®, where network service providers, cloud platforms and thousands of enterprises can connect and exchange traffic. Each Equinix location is a digital marketplace of sorts, a place where parties relevant to each other can securely connect and do business together. We like to think of this concept as the “interconnection ecosystem.”

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Because so much of this ecosystem lives at Equinix, our global Equinix IBX® data center locations are a natural place for carriers to deploy the infrastructure that powers their advanced business services. At Equinix, this infrastructure can be connected to both the carrier backbones and to their enterprise customers—all over private, direct connections. However, as businesses’ performance needs push content further to the edge (and across Equinix’s nearly 70 major global markets and 240 IBX locations), they are looking for faster ways to get all the right infrastructure in the right IBX locations, so they can connect to their customers and partners locally. This is where Orange and Equinix are pushing the limits of what’s been possible for mission-critical connectivity services.

Orange invests to meet skyrocketing demand–and create a green future for telco services

Orange has always been an innovator; it’s been one of the Equinix digital infrastructure model’s early adopters. In fact, the Paris-based company started hosting its backbone network PoPs in Equinix IBX data centers nearly two decades ago, where it has increasingly expanded its Telco Cloud presence to power its growing business services.

But the COVID-19 pandemic tremendously accelerated the need for digital transformation and with it demand for Orange’s critical services. The carrier decided that it needed to expand its offerings faster and with more flexibility, setting a goal to bring its fully automated Telco Cloud to 100 locations across the world. Its need to go everywhere, combined with challenging supply chains, its drive toward full-service automation and a target to reach net zero carbon by 2040, meant that the company would need to raise the bar for infrastructure deployments in the telco industry.

So, Orange came to Equinix with a challenge. Could the companies collaborate to build Orange’s global Telco Cloud in a fully virtualized manner…without Orange employees ever setting foot in an IBX facility? It would mean leveraging Equinix’s emerging digital infrastructure capabilities, including the newly launched Equinix Metal™ service, to consume automated, interconnected bare metal as a service and test the design for the mission-critical needs of the software-defined Telco Cloud architecture.

Equinix and Orange engineers got to work, initiating labs and trial deployments of Equinix Metal-powered virtual PoPs in close proximity to existing Orange networks in Amsterdam.

Equinix Metal API integration gives Orange fully automated infrastructure-as-code

The collaboration produced a solution that leverages the Equinix Metal platform for highly automated bare metal and interconnection deployments that abstracts away the complexities of global logistics, data center capacity management, and system integration. Most importantly, Orange was able to integrate its DevOps and security automation tooling with Equinix’s API, bringing the benefits of repeatable, automated infrastructure-as-code to its high-performance Telco Cloud. This deep integration between Equinix and Orange shrunk the time it takes to deploy an Orange Telco Cloud PoP from months to weeks. It also enables just-in-time capacity management through the Equinix Metal fleet’s on-demand bare metal provisioning capability.

Once the infrastructure is spun up in a new location, Orange leverages Equinix’s interconnection services to directly connect to the carrier’s high-performance private backbone network and uses internal automation to consume the infrastructure and deploy the vPoP software that powers its Telco Cloud.

Leveraging Equinix’s digital services, Orange engineers don’t need to travel to Equinix data centers to deploy or maintain physical infrastructure and instead can manage their “virtual colocation” footprint remotely and programmatically through Equinix’s self-service web portal, APIs and developer integrations.

Orange accelerates toward its global expansion goal

Equinix Metal enables Orange to leverage the power of Equinix’s global data center platform and interconnection ecosystem to bring its services to more businesses around the world faster than ever before. And, with the automation that Orange created to deploy and manage its vPoP infrastructure with Platform Equinix, the company can enter new markets and reach its goal of 100 global locations faster and more cost effectively.

We’re excited to support digital leaders such as Orange in bringing critical services and innovation to their customers and partners. To learn more about how Equinix digital services can help you can tackle your digital transformation priorities read the white paper “Physical infrastructure at software speed.” In this guide you’ll learn how to identify the right problem that you need to solve, design an optimized hybrid infrastructure strategy to solve it, and then determine the best way to execute that strategy.


Zac Smith Former Global Head of Edge Infrastructure Services
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