Equinix Fabric Helps Customers Capitalize on Subsea Cable Capacity

New cable systems like EllaLink are bringing different regions closer together, and Equinix Fabric is helping more businesses take advantage

Alex Vaxmonsky
Tobias Schaub
Equinix Fabric Helps Customers Capitalize on Subsea Cable Capacity

Subsea cables are the unsung heroes of the modern digital world. With an estimated 99% of all international communications traffic crossing subsea cables, the internet as we know it wouldn’t be possible without them. In spite of the key role they play in enabling global digital connectivity, it’s all too easy to take them for granted. They simply run in the background of our everyday lives, and most of us never have to stop and think about where we’d be without them.

That’s why the launch of the EllaLink cable between Europe and Brazil in 2021 was such a noteworthy occasion. Since EllaLink was the first cable system ever to directly connect Europe with Latin America (LATAM), the transformational latency benefits it provided were impossible to ignore. Now, digital traffic going between Europe and South America no longer has to pass through the United States first. By providing a direct route between Brazil and Portugal, EllaLink can cut latency in half, allowing traffic to cross the Atlantic Ocean in less than 60 ms round-trip delay (RTD). This unlocks important new use cases for customers doing business on both continents.

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In addition to its important latency benefits, the launch of the EllaLink cable also helps diversify digital connectivity in LATAM. Businesses and government agencies now have another option for moving digital traffic back and forth to Europe, thus reducing their reliance on U.S.-based digital infrastructure. This has important implications around cybersecurity and data sovereignty.

Supported by its partner BSO, the global pioneering infrastructure and connectivity provider, EllaLink can provide ultra-low latency connectivity to its customers. BSO has partnered with EllaLink and Equinix to put in place the ultra-low latency connectivity and infrastructure needed to enable data-empowered global businesses to access the Latin American market and capitalize on the opportunities that it offers.

EllaLink and BSO customers can ensure high-performance, high-availability and high-resilience connectivity with guaranteed bandwidth and deterministic path and latency. Partnering with BSO also allows EllaLink customers to access BSO’s global network of 240+ points of presence to interconnect with other sites and markets. Thanks to its self-healing technology, BSO also helps ensure the redundancy of its customers’ networks.

The direct route provided by EllaLink is especially helpful for certain latency-sensitive use cases. For instance:

  • High-frequency traders (HFTs), trading firms and proprietary trading firms, capital banks and hedge funds will now be able to increase performance and competitivity using bespoke financial connectivity that is secure, scalable and adaptive. EllaLink and BSO are uniquely placed to offer the low-latency connectivity that’s vital to financial firms, supporting market-making, arbitrage and liquidity aggregation.
  • Gamers in Brazil will now be able to play competitively on European servers, supporting the rapid growth of esports and the gaming industry in the country.
  • Oil and gas providers will now be able to use redundant connectivity between BSO’s data centers and their own sites, even the more remote ones. BSO and EllaLink can work with third-party providers to procure two fully diverse circuits for customer locations.

However, there are many other industry use cases for which businesses may not be able to justify investing the time and resources needed to tap directly into new subsea cable capacity. Equinix Fabric™, our software-defined interconnection service, provides a simpler, more cost-effective way for these businesses to access subsea cable capacity.

We’re excited to announce that capacity on the EllaLink route is now available via Equinix Fabric. This will make it easier for customers to create low-latency virtual connections between Europe and LATAM.

Equinix Fabric on the EllaLink route brings Europe and LATAM closer together

LATAM is already closely linked with Portugal and Spain for linguistic and cultural reasons, and the new EllaLink capacity on Equinix Fabric will help bring the two regions closer than ever before. Companies on both sides of the Atlantic will now be able to get closer to a much wider customer base, and thus unlock opportunities to drive new business.

Businesses that are already using Equinix Fabric to connect from Europe to South America via the U.S. may see immediate benefits from the new direct route. Their virtual connections will automatically update to start following the EllaLink route; this means they’ll experience lower latency without even having to lift a finger.

For customers who’ve considered connecting between Europe and LATAM in the past, Equinix Fabric on EllaLink may be the push they need to get started. They can acquire EllaLink capacity via Equinix Fabric without even having to talk to anyone. All they need to do is simply go to the self-service Equinix Fabric web portal and click a few buttons to set up a new virtual connection. In a matter of minutes, they can have their new capacity fully provisioned. This is in contrast to the months it might take them to access cable capacity via traditional physical infrastructure.

In addition, Equinix Fabric customers in both Europe and LATAM will now have expanded access to rich ecosystems of partners and service providers. This includes access to the cloud providers of their choice on Platform Equinix®. After provisioning new capacity on Platform Equinix, customers can fully integrate that new capacity into their cloud providers within days.

Also, customers will be able to take advantage of remote connectivity to SaaS offerings. For instance, some businesses operating in LATAM may want access to a full stack of sales intelligence tools that’s only available in Europe. Now, they can get the direct connectivity they need to use those tools to their full potential, without latency standing in the way.

Equinix Fabric simplifies access to subsea cable capacity worldwide

The new Equinix Fabric connection on the EllaLink route demonstrates how software-defined interconnection and subsea cables have become closely intertwined. The new connection is noteworthy because it covers a route that has never been done before, but it’s only one of many examples of Equinix Fabric offering capacity on subsea cable projects. In fact, Equinix Fabric customers can get quick and simple access to capacity on more than 40 subsea cable systems worldwide. Each of those cables allows Equinix Fabric customers to virtually expand into new markets that would have been beyond their reach otherwise.

There is a symbiotic relationship between subsea cables and Equinix Fabric. Subsea cables provide the underlying capacity between metros on different continents, while Equinix Fabric democratizes that capacity, making it easily accessible to a much wider range of businesses.

Any enterprise that depends on a globally distributed infrastructure can benefit from accessing subsea cable capacity via Equinix Fabric. It can help them execute rapid global expansion without the need for massive CAPEX investment. With this in mind, it’s no wonder new virtual connections are outpacing new physical connections on Equinix Fabric by a factor of about three to one. In addition, worldwide virtual connections across all Equinix customers reached 45,900 as of Q3 2022, which represents 29% year-on-year growth.[1] Our customers clearly recognize the business agility benefits that virtual connections can provide, and they’re investing to capitalize on those benefits.

Equinix Fabric is currently available in Equinix IBX® data centers in more than 50 metros across the world. New metros—and new low-latency connections between existing metros—are being added all the time. We’re continually looking for new ways to make Equinix Fabric more valuable for our customers, and working with subsea cable partners like EllaLink is one way we do that.

To learn more about Equinix Fabric and how it can help you interconnect your digital infrastructure and your partner ecosystem on a global scale, read the Equinix Fabric guide today.


[1] Equinix Q3 2022 Earnings Presentation

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Alex Vaxmonsky Former Director, Business Development for Global Service Providers
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Tobias Schaub Principal Solution Marketing Manager
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