Every network service provider (NSP) needs the agility to adapt to an ever-changing and unpredictable global marketplace. In the last few years, supply chain disruptions and skyrocketing operating costs have challenged their ability to launch services in new geographies. But virtual solutions—enabled by digital services—present a significant opportunity to help NSPs establish new markets quickly and easily. NSPs are already well versed in providing virtual networking services (VNS) to their customers in existing markets, but virtual solutions can also help NSPs boost their own agility and accelerate product rollouts to capture business in markets never considered as possibilities.
As growth in traditional products slows, NSPs will benefit by adapting deployment methods from traditional ways they’ve rolled out services to customers. By taking advantage of new and alternative deployment strategies enabled by virtualization, software-defined networking and OPEX-based digital infrastructure services, NSPs can reignite the growth of their products.
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Rethinking NSP service deployment in a changing world
It’s well known that supply chain issues in the last few years have disrupted business and constrained companies’ ability to introduce new products and enter new markets. NSPs, which provide public and private backbone infrastructure services, typically deploy their offerings to customers using physical routers and switches. To stand up physical infrastructure in a new region, they incur significant costs for hardware, real estate and personnel to manage device configurations—not to mention the time-consuming work of setting everything up. All of this is complicated by global supply chain and transportation infrastructure problems. These constraints limit NSPs’ flexibility when new business opportunities arise. To reach new markets faster, NSPs need to explore alternative methods of getting their services to market.
Five ways NSPs can take advantage of digital services to augment their network
To launch in new geographies, NSPs should consider the possibilities of using digital infrastructure to expand their existing network. It’s faster, less costly, can provide a bridge between their physical and virtual networks, and can put them in closer proximity to all the destinations and service providers that are most relevant to their business.
Digital infrastructure and interconnection services on Platform Equinix® can give NSPs flexibility to reach new markets with their products quickly. Network Edge and Equinix Fabric™ unlock a range of new service deployment possibilities. The following are some examples of ways NSPs can use Network Edge and Equinix Fabric to augment their existing infrastructure:
1. Network Edge and Equinix Fabric enable NSPs to extend existing network solutions with both physical and virtualized hardware.
In contrast to scaling new physical network infrastructure, a virtual connection to NSP services can be deployed on-demand, in minutes, and is easy to scale as needed. Using Equinix Fabric software-defined interconnection and Network Edge services, NSPs can globalize and provide customers access to their network products in markets they’ve never been in before. Dedicated, redundant virtual connections can be established between an NSP’s services and customers via Equinix Fabric using a pair of physical ports, enabling NSPs to deliver greater security and network resiliency to their customers. Network Edge provides NSPs the capability to deploy virtual network devices (e.g., SD-WANs, virtual routers, VPNs, firewalls, load balancers, etc.) across Platform Equinix in global markets without additional hardware. These Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) devices on Network Edge are connected to the Equinix Fabric upon instantiation.
2. Network Edge and Equinix Fabric offer Layer 2 and 3 routing orchestration.
Switching and routing decisions are made at layers 2 and 3 of the OSI model. Equinix Fabric provides NSPs the ability to orchestrate network traffic virtually within layers 2 and 3 to allow local traffic to remain local in a particular market by enabling companies to move routing decisions closer to edge locations. Equinix Fabric helps NSPs create an accessible network service offering without the need for traditional Letter of Authorization (LOA) and Carrier Facilities Agreement (CFA) processes. NSPs can rapidly deploy virtual instances of routing, firewall, SD-WAN and load balancer services to their customers, and virtual devices can be deployed on Network Edge quickly at edge locations without procuring physical hardware.
3. Network Edge enables network slicing of new services and a service provider edge.
NSPs may find themselves wanting to provision and connect new virtual network functions within an existing physical network product (such as 5G or Internet services), as well as provide those network services in smaller chunks at a lower price point that appeals to down-market customers. NSPs hosting services in an Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center can take bulk network services and use Network Edge and Equinix Fabric to introduce segmented network services as a new product via individual routing domains and other network slicing principles.
4. Network Edge facilitates last mile requirements and bridges physical-virtual infrastructure.
Traditionally, NSPs ship a physical router to a customer’s location and manage the lifecycle of that device. When combining customer premises equipment (CPE) with Equinix virtual network devices, such as SD-WAN gateways and virtual routers on Network Edge, NSPs have a new method of connecting the last mile. On Platform Equinix, network service providers can bridge traditional physical hand-offs with virtual routing, VPNs, firewalls, load balancers and other network appliances.
5. Network Edge SD-WAN allows service providers to create new managed network products.
SD-WAN helps NSPs scale existing managed SD-WAN offerings and deploy new sites with a click of a button. It offers lower-cost routing, simplifies deployment and, along with Equinix Fabric, provides a seamless on-ramp to the cloud—all of which can help end-customers modernize and get the most from their managed service providers.
These are just some examples to demonstrate how Equinix digital infrastructure and interconnection services help NSPs reimagine how they deploy services to customers. Regardless of whether an NSP has an existing virtualization stack, Network Edge and Equinix Fabric can complement and extend their existing network.
NSPs can use Platform Equinix and Network Edge to rethink service delivery for end customers and new products
New approaches mean new business opportunities
Equinix digital infrastructure services offer several clear advantages for NSPs looking to expand their networking services:
- Faster time to market for new services
- Better cost control with reduced CAPEX
- Ability to bridge physical and virtual networks and clouds
- Easy, on-demand provisioning
- API-driven lifecycle management and troubleshooting
Now’s a perfect time to think outside the box of traditional network service delivery and consider new possibilities. Quickly and easily expanding your networking backbone is not only a business requirement, it’s a global access issue, given that a significant portion of the world still lacks internet connectivity.
Equinix delivers the tools to help NSPs transform how they deliver their services by taking advantage of new digital infrastructure services that empower them to enter new geographies where they previously couldn’t do business.
To learn more about digital services from Equinix, read the Network Edge data sheet.