Equinix boosts edge play with new features for bare metal provisioning platform

Equinix boosts edge play with new features for bare metal provisioning platform

Equinix is adding new features to the bare metal provisioning platform that forms a core part of its strategic response to the rise of edge computing. The provisioning platform, called Tinkerbell, has added these new features since joining the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the go-to-resource for the container community.

The most important addition is Hook (clearly someone has been reading Peter Pan recently), an in-memory operating system provisioning environment. It allows end-users to quickly rebuild action images, cutting build time from 45 minutes to 90 seconds as well as cutting memory footprint.

Other features include out-of-the-box support for major operating systems (such as RedHat Enterprise Linux, CentoOS, and VMWare ESXi), and composable workflows via shared actions (which means users can share common workflow actions as they would with container images on Docker Hub). Tinkerbell also now supports Cluster API, a leading tool for provisioning Kubernetes clusters.

It might seem strange that a company known for its massive data center campuses has an edge strategy but the edge was the driver for its $355mn acquisition of bare-metal hoster Packet last year. Equinix argues that the edge is not so much the endpoint but where cloud, networks, and end-user interconnect, that is, in its own data centers.

Analysis

With Packet Bare Metal, now Equinix Bare Metal, enterprises can deploy infrastructure to the edge. As the platform is bare metal rather than multi-tenant and virtualized, enterprises can bring whatever software or virtualization tools they want. Equinix sees its bare metal platform as an ideal place for telcos to locate their next-generation infrastructure and making its provisioning as container-friendly as possible fits into that vision.

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