In 2020—the year the COVID-19 pandemic raged—the world’s networks experienced a tremendous increase in traffic as locked-down users spent unprecedented amounts of time at home, living, working, and entertaining themselves. Where there had once been regular peaks and valleys of traffic, there was now a constant barrage. Even in 2021, the trend shows no sign of slowing down. Network traffic has doubled and trebled, and network service providers (NSPs) have faced the herculean task of ensuring that their infrastructures are up to the challenge. Against stacked odds, they’ve been successful!
Over the past year, NSPs have emerged as the heroes of the digital economy. Even as businesses around the world engaged in digital transformations and the communications landscape prepared for a whole new reality in the form of 5G and Internet of Things (IoT), NSPs tended to the pandemic surge, building out their data centers, scaling their services, and ensuring robust and resilient connectivity at all levels. As schools and hospitals and verticals of all kinds have switched their functions to virtual, NSPs have made it all possible—while also ensuring that security has remained strong and that communications have been seamless.
Even after COVID-19 subsides, the digital economy will be forever altered, and the challenges for NSPs will remain. As more and more NSPs are forced to rethink their networks as an unpredictable future hurtles their way, connections and partnerships with infrastructure providers like Equinix will make all the difference.
NSPs in the Loop
More than ever, NSPs are under pressure to constantly evolve, adapt to urgent circumstances, and become ever more nimble. In today’s environment, it’s the agile, customer-focused NSPs—the ones that are willing and able to customize their services and processes to fully support their clients’ needs—that are going to realize the largest success. If 2020 made anything clear, it’s that the path to our 5G future will go through those NSPs that have kept us connected and informed.
In a reality where wireless and wireline networks are converging into a new era of digital integration and availability, what if we aligned more thoroughly with these NSPs instead of neglecting them? What if we not only recognized their importance to the industry but made them central to everything we do?
Equinix believes that the future relies on that kind of collaboration.
For years now, NSPs of all kinds—mobile network operators (MNOs), mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), content delivery network (CDN) providers, Internet service providers (ISPs) and regional/global NSPs—have been in the process of rethinking their core network transformations. They know they’re operating in a new reality in which their customers need to access their data whenever, wherever, and however they want it. Those customers also want on-demand, private connectivity to their cloud providers, and they want it all delivered ultra-securely. To those ends, NSPs everywhere are seeking a way to transform their IT architectures through network optimization, connection to public and private clouds, deployment of multifaceted security solutions, global management of distributed data, and application exchange in digital business ecosystems. In short, they’re seeking to uproot their data, clouds, and locations—even their people—in favor of digital interconnectedness.
To make all that possible, NSPs need to have a forward-thinking philosophy. They need a new Internet infrastructure that is up to the challenge—a technological foundation that offers the capacity and capability to deliver all services with high performance under today’s explosive traffic demand. The answer is Interconnection Oriented Architecture (IOA), a revolutionary platform that allows NSPs to interconnect data, clouds, locations, and people in ways that maximize return on investment (ROI) every step of the way.
The Equinix Difference
Equinix’s premier manifestation of the IOA philosophy is Equinix Fabric™, a global interconnection service that lets companies exchange on-demand data through private connections. As NSPs are looking to build and strengthen their network backbones to handle the aforementioned doubling and trebling of Internet-, cloud-, and social media–related traffic, the Equinix platform is where they’re heading.
“NSPs are increasingly turning to Equinix Fabric as a way to provide on-demand, private multicloud connectivity to meet the evolving business demands of their customers,” Bill Long, Senior Vice President, Core Product Management at Equinix, said. “By helping NSPs connect their customers to multiple clouds and other service and IT providers anytime, anywhere, and on any device, Equinix Fabric is quickly becoming the gold standard for helping network providers connect their customers to the cloud sooner.”
Simply put, Equinix Fabric gives NSPs a software-defined interconnectivity service to link their existing infrastructure with other networks and the world’s largest public cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure—ultimately helping their customers gain more value from the cloud. NSPs can also use these connections to better handle bandwidth-intensive workloads, manage traffic spikes, and coordinate backups. And because Equinix has designed the solution to function over a self-service portal or API, NSPs can create and manage their on-demand global connections through a single port. These capabilities enable enterprises and providers of all kinds to consistently scale their digital businesses as rapidly as the digital economy requires.
Equinix wants to do much more with its NSP partners than simply help them connect their enterprise customers to clouds. The company sees its platform as a powerful distribution channel for their NSP partners. More than that, Equinix seeks to become an open marketplace where its customers can benefit, share, produce, and innovate—to collectively keep the digital economy growing and progressing.
Staying on Top
Equinix considers Equinix Fabric to be far more than a product—rather, it’s a governing philosophy. Offering unmatched convenience of service for customers, the solution provides an experience that’s akin to the “Starbucks treatment” for its customers, giving them an easy, predictable array of services with which to keep their data center infrastructure running and their assets secure. Equinix’s end goal is to make NSPs’ digital experiences or transformations friendlier and easier. It’s all part of the company’s aim to remain ahead of the evolving nature of the market.
NSPs have always been at the root of Equinix. Now they’re at the forefront.