How Enterprises Can Build Resilient Networks Using Equinix Fabric

Equinix Fabric offers built-in network redundancy, and helps customers scale that redundancy across the globe

Kevin Odom
John Laird
How Enterprises Can Build Resilient Networks Using Equinix Fabric

Enterprises must manage globally distributed digital infrastructure and interact with thousands of different customers and partners regularly. To do this successfully, they need their network infrastructure to be as resilient as possible. However, this raises the question: What does it really mean for a network to be resilient?

A network is resilient when it keeps unplanned downtime to a minimum, and limits disruption even when downtime does occur. Far too many businesses view network resilience as a simple matter of deploying multiple connections to multiple providers across multiple geographic regions. While redundancy should be part of a resilient digital infrastructure strategy, it’s not the only thing that matters. To design a resilient network, businesses must ensure that redundancies in individual network components complement each other and the overall design, so that an outage would cause minimal impact while recovery efforts are underway.

At Equinix, we believe that businesses need resilient infrastructure across their digital core, edge and ecosystems to thrive in the modern economy. In this blog, we’ll look at how Equinix makes it possible for businesses to confidently build this resilient infrastructure using Equinix Fabric®, our software-defined interconnection solution.

Equinix Fabric is a proven platform of critical interconnection services for global enterprises

In 2014, we released the solution—originally called Equinix Cloud Exchange—to solve a very specific problem: Our customers needed direct, private, on-demand access to multiple clouds worldwide, and our solution helped give it to them. In short, it was a perfect fit for anyone looking for reliable connectivity to the cloud.

Over time, it became clear that our customers needed to interconnect much more than just their cloud services. Today, our customers look to Equinix Fabric for help interconnecting everything that matters to their digital infrastructure, from data center interconnection between their own assets in different Equinix IBX® locations to integrations with diverse partner ecosystems.

Any way you look at it, Equinix Fabric has grown bigger and better since we first released it:

  • Equinix Fabric is now available in 50+ metros across the globe, with new metros coming online all the time.
  • From any one of those metros, customers can get remote access to 370+ service providers, including cloud, network, collaboration and security providers.
  • Support for multipoint-to-multipoint networking is now available using our E-LAN services launched last year.
  • As of Q1 2023, customers have deployed 48,500 virtual connections on Equinix Fabric—a 19% increase year over year.

This tradition of growth and progress continues today: Starting this month, we’ll be offering virtual connections of 25 Gbps and 50 Gbps, giving our customers the higher bandwidth they’ll need to keep up with traffic growth and future-proof their networks.

After nearly 10 years in operation, Equinix Fabric continues to earn the trust of leading businesses and service providers with a platform built to support 99.999% availability. Going forward, we’ll continue  expanding its footprint, capabilities and capacities to offer a mature platform that businesses can use to stitch together all of their digital infrastructure globally.

Equinix Fabric™ Data Sheet

Equinix Fabric directly, securely and dynamically connects distributed infrastructure and digital ecosystems on Platform Equinix®.

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Equinix Fabric™ Data Sheet front cover

Optimize your network with a stronger digital core

An interconnected digital core should sit at the heart of any organization’s digital transformation efforts. It establishes their presence in the digital world, and connects them to the locations with the highest concentrations of key service providers. This allows enterprises to optimize for the most cost-effective deployment in each region, scale up those deployments quickly as business needs change, and connect regions with one another.

Network modernization is one example of how enterprises can optimize their digital cores. By deploying network infrastructure in proximity to traffic aggregation points and using direct, private interconnection to bring that infrastructure together, businesses can ensure the high performance and reliability they need from their networks. The fact that Equinix Fabric is available in so many different metros helps make network modernization quick and easy.

In designing connectivity between these metros, Equinix Fabric establishes a level of network resilience that goes beyond simple carrier diversity. We work with multiple carriers to eliminate single points of failure, validate route separation and utilize alternative PoPs wherever possible. We’ve also deployed observability and capacity management tools to help prioritize upgrades that add additional routes or bandwidth for customer traffic.

Customers have the added option of working with a network service provider (NSP) from the Equinix Fabric ecosystem to build additional resilience into their networks. They can achieve this by using the NSP to connect with offsite locations or by adding another backbone connection provided by the NSP.

Drive innovation and flexibility with digital ecosystems

Ecosystem partnerships also play a key role in making your digital infrastructure more agile and resilient, and your network is certainly no exception. Having access to a diverse roster of service providers is obviously an important part of any resilience strategy. However, successfully leveraging ecosystem partnerships requires more than just finding the right service providers. You need to be able to exchange traffic with those service providers quickly, reliably and securely.

Equinix Fabric offers the largest global private network of direct cloud on-ramps with over 210+ native deployments in 46 markets. This is nearly 2.5x more major on-ramps than the largest competitor, and more than the next 13 combined. In markets where Equinix operates, it has over 40% market share of on-ramps. Equinix Fabric has the interconnection density, capacity and automation needed to create reliable connectivity to a range of providers in your digital ecosystem.

In addition, you can tap into our vibrant digital ecosystems to access partner solutions that support further network resilience. For instance, you can use Equinix Fabric alongside our Network Edge portfolio of virtual network functions (VNFs) from top providers. These VNFs perform just like a physical device from the same provider would; the difference is that you can stand up the virtual device in a matter of minutes, not months. This gives you the flexibility to adapt your network any time your needs change, rather than getting locked into CAPEX-intensive physical hardware.

For instance, you can deploy additional capacity on demand to support traffic spikes that could otherwise overwhelm the network and create instability. You can also deploy high-availability configurations paired with multiple network connections to enable instant failover.

Connect the edge locations that matter most—locally and globally

The digital edge refers to the places where businesses get close to end users and devices to minimize latency and maximize engagement. The term doesn’t describe any one specific location. Instead, different applications will be deployed at different edge locations to meet different requirements around latency, security, costs and more.

Equinix Fabric helps you stay connected to all the different edge locations that matter to your business by providing connectivity both within metros and between metros. Each Equinix IBX data center that offers Equinix Fabric availability can connect with other IBX data centers in the same metro, via either cross connects or our Equinix Metro Connect® service. This allows for additional redundancy, as edge nodes within a particular IBX data center will be connected to other facilities within the metro.

Within each metro, there are redundant switches connected to the Equinix Fabric backbone via redundant routes, with redundant carrier availability. Connectivity between the switches and the backbone is provided via software-defined and software-orchestrated L2/L3 links. Since the backbone connects your infrastructure to all other Equinix Fabric metros, you can ensure global route redundancy even if it’s only deployed in one Equinix Fabric metro.

Learn what Equinix Fabric can do for you

At the end of the day, network resilience is all about being able to adapt quickly to whatever connectivity challenges come your way. Equinix Fabric is an extensible interconnection platform that provides the infrastructure agility, global reach and service provider integration you need to make this happen.

To learn more about how Equinix Fabric can support direct, secure and dynamic connections across your globally distributed digital infrastructure, read our guide to Equinix Fabric today.

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Kevin Odom Product Marketing Senior Manager
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John Laird Principal Product Manager
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