Equinix, Inc. has announced the next phase in the evolution of its global platform through the direct physical and virtual connection of its International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers around the world, enabling customers to connect on demand to any other customer from any Equinix location. Over the coming months, Equinix will announce a series of coverage, connectivity and service initiatives that will deliver increasing value to customers by enabling them to rapidly scale their digital businesses through a dynamic data center and interconnection platform.

The new inter-metro connectivity will be delivered through the Equinix Cloud Exchange™ (ECX), which has been renamed the Equinix Cloud Exchange™ Fabric (ECX Fabric). It will leverage the software-defined networking (SDN) capabilities currently built into ECX to enable any customer to dynamically connect its own infrastructure across Equinix locations or connect to any other customer on the Equinix global platform, regardless of location. Customers can customize their connectivity to partners, customers and suppliers through an interface that provides all the benefits companies have come to expect from "as-a-service" models. This includes real-time provisioning via a portal or API, pay-as-you-go billing increments and the removal of friction in establishing elastic connectivity between metros.

The new ECX Fabric capabilities are immediately available in all ECX locations in North America and the EMEA region, including Amsterdam, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Dublin, Frankfurt, London, Los Angeles, Manchester, New York, Paris, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Stockholm, Toronto, Washington, D.C., and Zurich. In Q4 2017 and early 2018, ECX Fabric is rolling out to seven new metros in the Americas and EMEA regions (Denver, Düsseldorf, Geneva, Helsinki, Miami, Milan, and Munich). Equinix will extend connectivity to São Paulo within the Americas region, and between APAC region ECX Fabric metro locations (Hong Kong, Melbourne, Osaka, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo), in 2018.

With this expansion, any Equinix customer will be able to more efficiently interconnect its global infrastructure and request connections to any of the more than 1,000 participants on ECX Fabric today. This includes some of the world's largest enterprises, cloud service providers (including Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud) and SaaS providers (including Salesforce, SAP and ServiceNow, among others).

The inter-metro integration of the Equinix global platform will enable companies to reach their entire digital ecosystem, including new and existing customers and partners, on demand, through one connection to the world. It unlocks and further extends the global value, simplicity and consistency of connectivity through Platform Equinix™, which currently spans 190 IBX data centers in 48 markets and includes more than 9,500 of the world's leading businesses.

Benefits to enterprises include the ability to rapidly scale their digital business operations globally by connecting privately and securely to a greater set of business partners and destinations. This includes both cloud service provider on-ramps within a metro or across other metros for the establishment of geo-redundant multicloud and hybrid cloud architectures, as well as connections between a customer's distributed points of presence essential to solving for distributed applications and today's demanding big data use cases. Equinix enables businesses to rapidly scale in an environment that offers unmatched physical security coupled with the digital security benefits of directly connecting to strategic business partners outside of the public internet. 

Benefits to service providers: Cloud service providers will have the ability to easily extend their reach to a rapidly expanding global base of enterprise buyers via private connections that provide a more consistent user experience. Network service providers will have the ability to more easily connect to geo-diverse cloud on-ramps in more metros, and to more easily establish network connections to destinations in which they do not yet have a physical presence, increasing their addressable market.

As the world's leading companies increasingly shift to digital business models, interconnection with key business partners and customers is becoming an important element of their digital supply chain. Interconnection enables seamless, on-demand, direct and private access to virtually any counterparty—from cloud service providers to strategic business partners to networks to SaaS providers—without traversing the public internet or a WAN. This approach allows companies to boost application performance, reduce latency, increase security, and improve network control and visibility.

Since 2014, ECX has provided virtualized, private, and direct connections to the world's largest clouds. With today's announcement, ECX has evolved from a platform for cloud connectivity to a multipurpose interconnection exchange that further simplifies the process by which companies implement interconnection across customers, partners and suppliers.

Private interconnection is a rapidly growing business practice for leading companies as their businesses become increasingly digital. According to the Global Interconnection Index, a market study published recently by Equinix, the capacity for private data exchange between businesses is outpacing the public internet, growing at nearly twice the rate and comprising nearly six times the volume of global IP traffic by 2020.

As a part of today's announcement of the expansion of the Equinix global platform, the company also announced the extension of the Equinix Internet Exchange into nine new metros in the EMEA and Americas regions (see separate Equinix press release issued today).