Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric) has been renamed Equinix Fabric, and in Q3 2020, crossed $100m in annual run-rate revenue with its virtual connections. Equinix Fabric has 2.3k customers, with 27.5k virtual connections on the platform, worldwide. The system is experiencing broad adoption from all types of customers. Specifically, adoption is being driven by virtual connections and increasing bandwidth consumption.

Interconnection Segment

Equinix’s interconnection segment generated $894m of revenue in 2019 and $1.0bn in annual run-rate revenue, as of Q3 2020. Equinix’s interconnection segment is best known for its physical cross connect business, which comprises 70% of segment revenue. Cross connects provide a point-to-point cable link (primarily fiber) between two customers in the same Equinix data center. Equinix currently has 359k global cross connections, which deliver fast, convenient, affordable, and reliable connectivity and data exchange.

Within this interconnection segment, is Equinix Fabric, which at $100m in annual run-rate revenue, comprises 10% of total interconnection revenue. Equinix Fabric makes it easier for customers to “consume” Equinix’s global interconnection platform. Indeed, Equinix Fabric is growing rapidly, as evidenced by virtual connections which have grown by 32% year-over-year. Specifically, in Q3 2020, Equinix had 27.5k virtual connections on its platform, as compared to 20.9k virtual connections in Q3 2019.

READ MORE: Cross Connects – Interconnection Services in Data Centers

Physical cross connections are suitable for large and recurring traffic flows, given their fixed cost nature. However, virtual connections are more appropriate for a dynamic environment where customers turn-up and turn-down workloads and traffic between endpoints. Specifically, virtual connections are ideal for applications with usage patterns spikes, or for trialing cloud services.

Equinix Fabric and Virtual Connections

Equinix Fabric directly, securely, and dynamically connects distributed infrastructure and ecosystems across Equinix data centers in 55+ metros and over 150 Equinix data centers globally, using software-defined interconnection. Customers can establish direct and private data center-to-data center network connections on-demand between any two Equinix Fabric locations. Indeed, Equinix Fabric works both within a metro or globally.

Customers of Equinix Fabric

Equinix Fabric connects a buyer e.g., an enterprise colocating in Equinix facilities or a network service provider and a seller e.g., a cloud service provider or software application. Indeed, Equinix Fabric’s ecosystem has over 160 service providers, including all major Cloud Service Providers. These providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Salesforce, and IBM Cloud.

Customers of Equinix Fabric can use a dedicated 1 gigabit per second or 10 gigabits per second link to transfer data between service providers on the platform.

Equinix Fabric Moving Beyond the Cloud

Historically, Equinix Fabric was solely focused on providing private links to public clouds. Specifically, Equinix Fabric was appropriate for enterprises with strict security and compliance requirements. These enterprises took advantage of using the public cloud, without the risk of connecting critical networks to the internet.

In 2020, Equinix’s customers are interconnecting with a much broader set of counterparties. Indeed, customers using Equinix Fabric have use cases that are increasingly moving beyond just connecting to cloud on-ramps. For example, interconnections to service providers such as Zoom and ServiceNow, have become increasingly prominent.

Therefore, Equinix Fabric is moving beyond just providing bandwidth and connectivity between locations. With customers such as Zoom and ServiceNow joining the platform, Equinix Fabric is becoming more of a digital services ecosystem, instead of just a pure transport mechanism.

Additionally, Equinix Fabric is also optimizing and scaling services for electronic healthcare records exchange. Healthcare providers can directly and securely interconnect through Equinix Fabric as a distributed traffic exchange and control point.

Mary Zhang covers Data Centers for Dgtl Infra, including Equinix (NASDAQ: EQIX), Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR), CyrusOne, CoreSite Realty, QTS Realty, Switch Inc, Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM), Cyxtera (NASDAQ: CYXT), and many more. Within Data Centers, Mary focuses on the sub-sectors of hyperscale, enterprise / colocation, cloud service providers, and edge computing. Mary has over 5 years of experience in research and writing for Data Centers.


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