Equinix expands Equinix Metal; enabling hybrid, edge for bigger market play

Equinix expands Equinix Metal; enabling hybrid, edge for bigger market play

Guest post by Phil Shih, Managing Director and Founder of Structure Research.

Equinix expanded the footprint of its Equinix Metal bare metal infrastructure service, implemented native integration with Equinix Fabric, while also introducing appliance-based infrastructure-as-a-service through a series of OEM partnerships and new third party software integrations.

Details

Equinix Metal is based on the platform built by New York-based Packet that Equinix acquired in 2020. Equinix Metal has now expanded from its initial four locations last year and is now live in 18 locations. In the Americas, it is available in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, São Paulo, Silicon Valley, Toronto and Washington, DC. Across Europe, it is live in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Madrid and Paris. Over in APAC, the locations online are Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. A total of eight locations are new additions (Silicon Valley, Dallas, Washington, DC, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong).

Native integration with Equinix Fabric

As promised, Equinix Metal features native integration with Equinix Fabric and support for port speeds up to 100gbps. There is also a new ‘hybrid bonded’ network mode that enables high availability in hybrid cloud environments. Equinix Network Edge enables various virtual network services.

Converged infrastructure

Equinix is supporting new OEM partners Dell Technologies and Pure Storage in all 18 Equinix Metal locations. Dell and Pure Storage will supply their hardware infrastructure and the Equinix Metal platform will manage it and allow organizations to turn CapEx into OpEx. With the gear running in Equinix data centres (or on-premise), and managed by Equinix Metal, there is native integration with Equinix Fabric that enables connections to other data centres, public clouds, SaaS platforms and various network and infrastructure services in the wider Equinix ecosystem.

Software integrations

Equinix is partnering with Mirantis and Cohesity for container and data management. Equinix wants to support the tools customers use to manage infrastructure wherever it resides.

Analyst take

The vision behind the acquisition of Packet is coming into clearer focus. It is hard to miss the main themes, which can be summed up with the following terms:

  • Automation
  • Hybrid cloud
  • Interconnection
  • Distributed architectures
  • Technology agnostic
  • Ecosystem.

Equinix Metal is less about building a standalone bare metal infrastructure service and more about using the management platform acquired from Packet to enable hybrid and distributed architectures in various scenarios across on-premise, Equinix data centers, cloud infrastructure services (hyperscale or otherwise) and edge. The piece that brings this all together, of course, is Equinix Fabric, which enables reach into an extensive ecosystem of network and infrastructure services on a global basis.

To maximize its market opportunity, Equinix is strictly agnostic and aims to support as many technology stacks and management tools as possible. It has a roadmap filled with various technology partners that it hopes will follow the same path as the likes of Dell and Mirantis. The long-term goal is to build an ecosystem of hardware and software partners that support a wide swath of the most commonly used enterprise technologies. Dictating how any customer deploys that technology is certainly not part of the equation. Equinix has done the ground work around physical infrastructure and connectivity – from the real estate to the data center, to the cages, servers and networks. It is up to the customer to pick the deployment model and location and use Equinix Fabric to piece it all together.

Equinix Metal opens up a wider range of scenarios that increasingly hybrid and distributed architectures require and will allow the customer to define the edge and reach it in its own way. It is also highly automated to enable remote management, rapid provisioning and scalability.

About the author

Phil Shih is Managing Director and Founder of Structure Research, an independent research firm focused on the cloud, hosting and data center infrastructure service provider markets.

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