Equinix expands IX offering and unveils SDN-based inter-metro connectivity service

04 December 2017 | James Pearce


Equinix has unveiled plans to expand its internet exchange operations into nine new cities across the EMEA and Americas regions in 2018, while also launching a new SDN-powered inter-metro connectivity service.

The data centre firm also said over the coming months it plans to announce a series of coverage, connectivity and service initiatives that will deliver increasing value to customers by enabling them to scale digital businesses through a data centre and interconnection platform.

It will expand its IX service to Amsterdam, Denver, Dublin, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Manchester, Milan and Stockholm in addition to the 22 cities in which it’s currently available.

The new inter-metro connectivity will be delivered through the Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric – renamed from the Equinix Cloud Exchange), which will be powered by software-defined networking capabilities that are currently built into the ECX. This means Equinix’s customers will be able to dynamically connect to its own infrastructure across Equinix locations.

The new platform means its customers can now customise connectivity partners and suppliers through a direct to interface most like those found on a “as-a-service” model, which includes benefits such as real-time provisioning, pay-as-you-go billing increments.

The new ECX Fabric is available in all ECX locations across EMEA and North America, plus seven new metros which will launch before mid-2018, which are Denver, Düsseldorf, Geneva, Helsinki, Miami, Milan and Munich. Equinix said it will also extend connectivity to São Paulo, and between APAC region ECX Fabric metro locations (Hong Kong, Melbourne, Osaka, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo), in 2018.

Sara Baack, CMO at Equinix, said: "As digital transformation intensifies, business possibilities have no limits and neither should an organization's IT infrastructure. Building a digital business requires the ability to reach strategic global destinations on demand, to access everyone that matters, and to bring people, clouds, data and things together. 

“Today's announcements and our future product and services roadmap are aimed at leveraging the Equinix global platform to serve as a strategic partner for companies on this journey."

Equinix said benefits for enterprise customers include the ability to rapidly scale their digital business operations globally by connecting to more business partners and destinations. It includes cloud service provider on-ramps within a metro and connections between a customer’s distributed of presence.

For service providers, Equinix will offer the ability to easily extend reach to a global base of enterprise buyers via private connections, whilst also offering the ability to more easily connect to cloud on-ramps in more metros.

One service provider partner Windstream praised the announcement. John Nishimoto, VP of product management and marketing at Windstream, said: “"The integration of the Equinix global platform expands Windstream's addressable footprint, increasing the availability of high-transport solutions—including our recently launched Software Defined Network Orchestrated Waves (SDNow)—for our customers. 

“Equinix has a robust aggregation of enterprise businesses, cloud service providers and traditional network operators, all of whom are customers of Windstream's Cloud & Connectivity business unit. We look forward to participating in this fully integrated global platform."