Cloud technologies have transformed not only the provisioning and delivery of computing services, but also IT business and financial models. Enterprises have delegated management of an ever-increasing amount of their IT infrastructure to cloud service providers, due to the realization of significant capital expenditure (CapEx) savings through the economies of scale delivered by the cloud.
Networking has played a critical role in digital transformation, evolving from now-primitive centralized connections to today’s distributed software-defined networks (SDN). Software-defined networking, an approach to cloud computing, simplifies network management and configuration through programming to improve network performance and monitoring.
We at Equinix — the world’s largest interconnection platform provider — have made some key observations over the past several years, particularly relating to the evolving strategy of deploying wide area network infrastructures. The following provides a narrative for the illustration below, with emphasis on two sharply different methodologies in play from both the past and present.
Individually connecting multiple clouds over traditional wide area networking (WAN) infrastructures is operationally complex and costly, resulting in unreliable cross-cloud application interaction and performance, as well as poor scalability, visibility and control. Also, managing increasing data volumes from the cloud can’t be solved by public internet offloading, since doing so increases latency and risk.
About 47 percent of the global population of 7.6 billion people doesn’t have internet access, as tough as that is for those of us in internet-rich locales to imagine. But companies are working on ways to bridge this digital divide, and systems based on low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites are becoming a big part of the conversation.
Digital transformation is changing how we do business, consume services and interact with the world around us, forcing companies in every industry to redefine business models and customer engagement experiences. Disruptors such as Uber in transportation, Airbnb in hospitality and Amazon in eCommerce tend to get the most attention, but even traditional industries such as financial services, insurance and healthcare are embracing digital technologies to provide more personalized consumer experiences.
Is your data center interconnected? Does it have private interconnectivity with any partner or customer you want to reach across multiple global metros? Can you provide fast, direct and secure access to a cloud or software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider that is not directly located in the same city as your employees? Can you ensure the local security your users require at geographically dispersed data centers? These are the hallmarks of an interconnected data center.
An interconnected world that promotes connectivity and cooperation creates growth opportunities. In Asia-Pacific, the demand for connectivity is obviously growing. According to the Global Interconnection Index, published by Equinix, Interconnection Bandwidth in Asia-Pacific is expected to grow 46% per annum to reach 1,120 Tbps of installed capacity, approaching nearly a quarter (22%) of global traffic.
5G is the fifth-generation of wireless broadband technology and is poised to revolutionize the networking industry by providing an unimaginable level of innovation. The first commercial launches of 5G products and services are rolling out this year and the recent Ericsson Mobility Report estimates that by 2023 there will be 1 billion 5G subscriptions, accounting for approximately 20% of all mobile data traffic.
The life of an Interconnection Specialist or Peering Lead at Equinix is busy at the best of times. However, as spring turns into summer, the good and the great of the network and content provider community are engaged in a frenzied criss-crossing of land and sea as they attend some of the most important interconnection events of the year, and we’re right alongside them.