Interconnects and data ingress in Equinix cloud vision

Charles Meyers, Equinix (Image: Equinix)

14 September 2018

While the mission of helping customers digitally transform is certainly a familiar one, the means by which Equinix is going about it is unique.

Speaking to TechPro, Charles Meyers, president of services, strategy and innovation, Equinix*, said the company’s strategy is to build a geographically comprehensive footprint, layering on top of the interconnection platform which provides a comprehensive set of interconnection-related services in the market. On top of that, he said, curating digital ecosystems, which include combinations of customers and partners who are delivering digital transformation value to customers.

“The hyperscalers, are a key part of that, but at the IaaS and PaaS layer, they are a provider of building blocks. But it is often a help yourself approach,” Charles Meyers, Equinix

Meyers is referring to the fact that Equinix not only provides a comprehensive data centre footprint around the world, including three facilities in Ireland, but it also provides its Cloud Exchange Fabric and Internet Exchange which allows it to provide both connectivity and interconnects without relying exclusively on public internet.

Transformation challenges
We believe, said Meyers, often times the ability for the end customer to solve a digital transformation challenge requires to access a range of capabilities that, in this day and age, are often not delivered by a single entity, and what platform Equinix represents is a centre piece allowing you to effectively, securely, efficiently consume that set of services together.”

“The hyperscalers,” he adds, “are a key part of that, but at the IaaS and PaaS layer, they are a provider of building blocks. But it is often a help yourself approach. What Platform Equinix allows is the ability to say ‘I would like to consume those services’, and oftentimes they want them privately, not over the public Internet, for a range of considerations, and the alternative is over private interconnection.”

Meyers said Equinix well placed to support the developing network demands of new architectures, as edge computing moves centre stage.

“Customers are finding that [with] our geographic reach and network density, they can implement more of a multi-hub networking strategy, with a relatively small footprint around the globe with Equinix and then consume a range of service providers and use the ones that are most cost and performance effective,” said Meyers.

“It also leads to conversations where customers say they have forms of data, structured and unstructured, that they believe can create significant business value, either directly or indirectly monetising insights, that come from data. What they are now faced with is the challenge of ingressing that data from where it sits out at the edge, and then placing it where it can be normalised, cleaned, enriched with other sources and then apply algorithmic insights, in the form of AI and other things, to allow me to make better business decisions.”

“You have to take the data and the application and move them closer to the user,” Meyers asserts. “You can’t just try to use the network to get the user back to that — it just doesn’t work.”

Equinix has a multi-part strategy to develop this as a comprehensive offering for the market, as Meyers believes the opportunities for it almost endless, but must be tackled in a structured manner.

He said the company has identified six key themes for development.

The first is the data centre of the future evolving to be responsive to the new world, taking into account power density and cooling, and as power becomes more difficult to source, adding primary generation technologies.

Secondly, is next generation interconnection, better enabling customers to interconnect with their digital supply chain.

The evolving edge recognises the current set of physical assets may need to expand over time to further expand the outer edge that exists today. This will develop the ability to ingress data from devices at the edge.

“We are including IoT in this whole evolving edge phenomenon,” said Meyers.

Security needs
Security needs will also evolve rapidly and will be a key development focus, as will the data fabric.

Work on the application infrastructure will help customers deploy and consume apps more efficiently.

“If people move large amounts of data in and out of the cloud, the problem is that it becomes very expensive. The clouds all have egress charges,” said Meyers.

“We are seeing a trend towards people putting data on our cloud and using our multi-cloud connectivity to suck things in and out of the cloud on demand, and using Equinix Cloud Exchange, they can provision a 1Gb virtual circuit in a matter of seconds between themselves and a cloud, move data as they need to, and tear it down, switch it to a new provider and as a result access this whole buffet of cloud resources via platform Equinix.”



* Meyers since speaking to TechPro has since become president and CEO of Equinix.


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