Equinix Launches New State-Of-The-Art Exchange

Equinix, the data center giant and global leader in building dynamic Internet exchanges, today launched a new exchange that the company hails as a breakthrough in enabling enterprise hybrid cloud solutions.

The Equinix Cloud Exchange is "one of the most intelligent products we've ever launched," Chris Sharp, vice president of cloud innovation at the Redwood City, Calif.-based company, told CRN.

The network-neutral collocation operator's latest offering represents a major advancement in the process of managing connections to multiple clouds, enabling a paradigm shift from one-to-one to one-to-many, and many-to-many connections, Sharp told CRN.

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It empowers enterprise customers to take advantage of the flexible scalability of the public cloud while maintaining the level of speed, security and accessibility that their private virtual networks provide.

Enterprises operating in industries like health care and financial services complain that the broader Internet simply lacks the throughput to effectively run their business software, Sharp said. Those existing Equinix customers also said they want to retain control over technology platforms running critical services, and have access to analytic tools that provide a high level of network visibility.

At the same time, many of the company's enterprise customers are starting to rethink their LANs, looking for hybrid solutions in which they build out their private clouds and also leverage public cloud services for spikes.

Equinix partners with Microsoft Azure and AWS. The new cloud exchange will offer a secure, high-throughput portal for connecting to those and other cloud services providers simultaneously. Exchange users also can take advantage of APIs with a uniform dictionary and a set of interactive features.

The technical advances in the new exchange are enabled by two innovative components, Sharp told CRN.

First is hardware. Equinix worked extensively with vendors to make sure its systems seamlessly interact with software-defined networking vendors and offer ample port density.

"Now we have 100Gb/s clients that need to consume data at a much more efficient and faster rate," Sharp said.

The second innovation is its state-of-the-art business intelligence software.

"We have a lot of intellectual property we built on top of hardware to allow customers to interact with the hardware in a number of ways," Sharp told CRN.

Equinix didn't rush to the market after developing its groundbreaking technology.

"We took time to get the right partners onto the platform and understand the business processes, and try to map them in a realtime environment," Sharp told CRN.

"Our overall business intelligence layer is a massive differentiator," he said, adding the new exchange service can cross-connect with cloud providers nearly in realtime.

This rapid, multifaceted connectivity is enabled by proprietary software developed through the collaboration with partners Amazon and Microsoft. A few years ago, Equinix pioneered the first AWS Direct Connect offering, a technology that served as the foundation for future development, Sharp told CRN.

The exchange, which incorporates enterprise API technology from Apigee, will allow enterprises to transition elastically from their private to public cloud. That's what everyone is trying to achieve, according to Sharp.

"That's the most economical model for leveraging these kinds of services," he said.