In our fast-paced world, customer expectations are at an all-time high, and competition is intense. To succeed in this environment, companies need secure, ultra-fast connectivity across their IT infrastructure. But today, organizations have data and infrastructure in more places than ever, and they’re working with more partners. Enterprise AI workloads are introducing new networking demands. The proliferation of connections, along with the shift to distributed multicloud IT architectures, has brought new connectivity challenges—as well as opportunities.
One of the major challenges is optimizing the network across all parts of a hybrid multicloud infrastructure, including the “middle mile” network. For enterprises, this typically refers to the part of the network that sits between your direct, private connections (the “first mile”) and your cloud networks and applications (the “last mile”). In essence, you need fast, secure connectivity between your on-premises infrastructure sites and multiple public clouds—including site-to-site, site-to-cloud and cloud-to-cloud connectivity.
Not only is networking more complex because of today’s hybrid multicloud architectures, but organizations are looking for connectivity solutions that deliver greater flexibility, simplicity and speed, at more predictable costs. Fast, secure, flexible connectivity is crucial in helping companies increase productivity, improve their cloud capabilities, simplify collaboration, accelerate data movement, improve customer experiences, enhance their business and improve profitability. That’s why more businesses are taking advantage of on-demand digital infrastructure solutions.
Direct connectivity in a multicloud world
Gone are the days of centralized IT; most companies instead have distributed IT infrastructure in multiple locations around the world. And nearly all organizations—94%—are now using multiple clouds, according to 2023 research from Enterprise Strategy Group. As companies modernize their networks to accommodate distributed multicloud architectures, implementing or optimizing a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is a common network optimization project.
SD-WAN architectures help provide connectivity to clouds and offer speed, flexibility and choice for enterprises. They also simplify network management and deliver better network visibility. So, it’s no surprise that the SD-WAN market is expected to keep growing, reaching more than $7 billion in value within the next few years.
As organizations look for ways to optimize their multicloud infrastructures and modernize their networks using SD-WAN, Equinix and Cisco are here to help, with industry-leading connectivity solutions. We have a longstanding strategic alliance to deliver networking services that help digital businesses thrive. We’ve worked together for years to provide digital infrastructure for the modern enterprise, including our software-defined cloud interconnection (SDCI) solution, which makes Cisco’s SD-WAN platform available on Equinix Network Edge. SDCI is an optimized, cost-effective answer to directly and securely connecting cloud, network and internet service providers using Equinix Fabric® virtual connections. It enables companies with direct, high-speed connectivity across the globe—exactly what distributed multicloud businesses need.
Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Interconnect with Equinix
Together, Cisco and Equinix provide fast, secure, automated connectivity to public clouds and your choice of transit over the Equinix global network:
- Fast: Digital services and virtual network functions (VNFs) can be deployed in minutes, without upfront investment in physical equipment.
- Secure: Equinix Fabric delivers traffic through a controlled middle mile, so you’re minimizing exposure to the internet and gaining greater security and control of your network. And Cisco SD-WAN multicloud monitoring provides centralized visibility.
- Automated: SDCI offers end-to-end automation, connecting your on-premises sites, clouds and users effortlessly, so you can focus on other tasks.
Easy access to the connectivity solutions you need
We’ve continued to evolve our digital infrastructure solutions over the years. Now, we’re building upon our joint technical solutions with a simplified consumption model, whereby customers can order Equinix digital services via their Cisco sellers and channel partners. This year, Equinix digital services will be available for the first time on Cisco’s global price list, through its SolutionsPlus program—an initiative that makes it easier for customers to access Cisco-compatible products. This is a win-win for everyone—from our shared customers to Cisco sellers and our partner ecosystem since it makes Equinix services easier to source, consume and use.
Cisco SD-WAN's pay-as-you-go model for Equinix services, made available through Cisco SolutionsPlus, is proof of the joint value we bring to customers seeking flexibility, scalability, and global reach. Together, Cisco and Equinix are advancing the true multi-cloud value.”— Jason Gallo, VP Partner GTM Acceleration
By making Equinix digital services available through Cisco Commerce, we’ve made it easier than ever for customers to acquire our solutions. Instead of having to order each SDCI component from Cisco and Equinix, Equinix digital services are now available through Cisco’s ordering system and through your existing Cisco seller or channel partner. You also get simplified support directly from Cisco instead of having to work with each company separately to address solution components. The goal of this commercial integration is straightforward: We want to save you time and effort so you can go to market faster and focus on your business objectives.
As the need for simplified hybrid and multicloud networking grows, more companies are looking for easy-to-manage, automated solutions for cloud networking. Fast, agile, secure connectivity between edge and core infrastructure, across multiple clouds, among business partners and to end users is fundamental to delivering great user experiences. And Equinix and Cisco are now making it easier to get that essential connectivity to our customers’ clouds and sites.
Read about this new pay-as-you-go model for acquiring Equinix Network Edge and Equinix Fabric on the Cisco blog.
 Paul Nashawaty, Infographic: The Mainstreaming of Cloud-native Apps and Methodologies, Enterprise Strategy Group, August 11, 2023.
 Sean Michael Kerner, SD-WAN by the numbers: Market size, growth, adoption, SDx Central, August 1, 2023.