Equinix has made a major addition to its interconnection offering, using software-defined networking (SDN) technology to allow easier connection between different data centre locations.

The Californian data centre and interconnection giant has announced the introduction of direct physical and virtual connection of its International Business Exchange (IBX) data centres. This means that the company’s customers will be able to connect to any other customer from any Equinix location.

This service will be carried out by the Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric, which was previously called the Equinix Cloud Exchange (ECX). Using SDN capabilities already built into ECX, it will allow customers to connect their own infrastructure across different Equinix locations, or connect to other customers that are on Equinix’s platform.

The service will feel much like an ‘as-a-service’ model, with real-time provisioning via a portal or API, elastic inter-metro connectivity and pay-as-you-go billing.

All existing EMEA ECX locations will have immediate use of the new capabilities, including at least 17 major cities such as London, Paris and New York. Equinix is also rolling out ECX Fabric to seven further EMEA metros, including Miami and Munich, by early 2018. It will also add inter-Americas connectivity at Sao Paulo, and inter-APAC location connectivity at six locations, including Singapore and Melbourne.

The expansion means that Equinix customers will have significantly more efficient interconnection and will be able to request connections to ECX Fabric participants, which includes major enterprise businesses and cloud service providers such as AWS, Azure and Alibaba, as well as SaaS providers such as Salesforce.


Related: Equinix releases security-as-a-service offering SmartKey

Interconnection: Private links to outstrip public internet connections by 2020, says Equinix report


Equinix is hailing greater scalability as one of the major benefits of the expansion, arguing that it lets businesses quickly scale digital operations through direct, private connection to partners and destinations.

It also believes that a major application will be in distributed applications and ‘demanding big data use cases.’ Combined with the improved performance, security and latency that comes with interconnection, it is likely that Equinix is aiming to serve the field of ‘edge’ computing that continues to grow with the explosion of the Internet of Things.

“Until now Equinix has operated data centres that are highly interconnected within their metro areas. Now Equinix is moving to fully interconnect its global platform, enabling companies to directly connect physically or virtually to customers, vendors and partners, and between their own points of presence, from any Equinix facility,” said 451 Research chief analyst, Eric Hanselman.

“This new interconnection opens a range of possibilities for Equinix customers.  It also has the potential for Equinix to deliver a greater breadth of services across its newly globally interconnected platform.”