The Rise of Virtual Infrastructure

Equinix and Spectrotel deliver software-defined interconnection and virtual application-layer security for internet and cloud applications

Bryson Hopkins
The Rise of Virtual Infrastructure

Global digital business expansion is on the rise, and IT leaders are increasingly turning to virtual infrastructure to enable that expansion. According to the Equinix 2022 Global Tech Trends Survey, 41% of IT organizations that are planning to expand geographically within the next year will deploy virtually in the short-term before building permanent physical infrastructure, while 35% said they will deploy virtually for the foreseeable future.

Today’s businesses need to reliably connect to internet and cloud applications with greater agility, security and cost-efficiency—especially given the current landscape of distributed workers, offices and applications. They also need to circumvent the continued hardware delivery challenges from the global COVID-19 pandemic with more readily available virtual solutions to provide users with fast and secure access to digital services.

Spectrotel delivers secure, cost-effective SD-WAN – wherever and whenever it's needed

Businesses need to connect to the internet and the cloud applications on which they increasingly depend with agility and cost-efficiency—especially given a post-pandemic landscape of remote working and unique hardware delivery challenges.

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The challenges of the remote workplace are expanding

The remote workplace continues to be a major challenge for many organizations that not only need to support distributed users and applications, but also expand their digital infrastructure to grow their business. The decentralization of the world’s workforce, geo-dispersed facilities, and the lack of readily available hardware to interconnect it all has created the need for more agile virtual network services (e.g., SD-WANs, virtual routers).

With larger numbers of distributed users, applications and networks, there’s also a bigger attack surface for bad actors. This requires agile virtual security services (e.g., firewalls, VPNs) that provide safe access to more readily available and cost-effective internet and cloud applications. With these flexible software-defined capabilities, IT organizations can quickly turn up network and security services where they’re needed, without the cost of hardware CAPEX and delays.

Integrated virtual network and security services reduce complexity and cost

For businesses to fully leverage virtual networks and security, they need to build their solutions on top of a global digital infrastructure platform with partners that can help them integrate network, internet and cloud providers, along with security services up through the application layer.

This is exactly what Spectrotel, a next-generation aggregator and leading integrated communication services provider, is delivering to its customers on Platform Equinix®. To help meet skyrocketing demand for web-based information and applications, the company partnered with Equinix to create a virtual network platform that would give its customers access to secure, reliable SD-WAN gateways that connect to the internet and cloud applications they need with agility and cost-efficiency.

Using Network Edge virtual network services and a robust network infrastructure from Equinix, Spectrotel was able to deliver a resilient, secure SD-WAN service and greatly reduce its upfront investment, both in terms of time to market and CAPEX. Spectrotel deployed its virtual SD-WAN gateways and cloud-based firewalls on Network Edge and leveraged Equinix Fabric™ software-defined interconnection between its SD-WAN gateways in different Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center locations. The company also used Equinix Internet Access (formerly Equinix Connect) for reliable, high-performance and secure internet connectivity.

With thousands of network, internet and cloud service providers on Platform Equinix, Spectrotel can provide its customers with integrated SD-WAN gateway and virtual firewall services using fast, low-latency connectivity to the internet or cloud provider of their choice. This enables Spectrotel customers to create robust hybrid multicloud architectures on demand.

There’s a saying in security: “When you’re on the defensive, you have to be right every time, but when you’re on the offensive, you only have to be right once.” In keeping with this truism, Spectrotel’s secure SD-WAN gateway connectivity and virtual firewall full application-layer security is smart enough to know what applications users can access. It also proactively profiles the application traffic patterns to identify anomalies.

As users’ access to IP addresses, peering locations and application services change, their network security needs to be flexible enough to create multiple protection zones. Spectrotel helps its customers achieve this on demand by deploying virtual SD-WAN and firewall services via Network Edge and privately interconnecting those services across multiple IBX locations with Equinix Fabric—without adding hardware. Equinix Fabric and Network Edge high-availability options also reduce the risks posed by a network failure, ensuring greater service continuity to Spectrotel customers.

According to John Longo, Director of Product Management for Spectrotel, one of the key benefits of the Network Edge model is that it helps the company keep its options open. “Spectrotel is dedicated to meeting the specific networking and security needs of our customers, when and where those needs arise. Network Edge services from Equinix help us achieve that goal faster and more cost-effectively than traditional physical infrastructure deployments.”

Virtual infrastructure means faster time to market for a lower cost

Deploying virtual network functions (VNF) devices on Network Edge helped Spectrotel increase its agility and reduce its services time to market from months to weeks. By using Network Edge, Spectrotel engineers reduced their travel to data centers to install physical infrastructure, saving time and money, while also reducing the company’s carbon footprint. In addition, Spectrotel can implement additional gateways globally for 10% or less of the CAPEX required for a traditional deployment, leaving 90% for investment in other areas.

Partnering to build high-performance, resilient and secure virtual infrastructure

The Equinix and Spectrotel partnership delivers secure, cost-effective SD-WANs to businesses–wherever and whenever they’re needed. For example, Spectrotel’s retail customers apply these devices for use cases that require them to connect multiple locations, users, and internet and cloud applications.

Equinix partnerships are especially critical to those small to medium businesses (SMBs) that do not have the resources or digital infrastructure to deploy more complicated, hybrid multicloud and application environments. However, there are many enterprises on Platform Equinix that have easily deployed Network Edge themselves via the Equinix Fabric Portal, as demonstrated in the video below:

Read how Spectrotel delivers secure, cost-effective SD-WAN and learn more about Network Edge services.


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Bryson Hopkins Former Senior Director, Global Solutions Enablement
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