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Verizon launches interconnect service through Equinix

News Analysis
Jul 26, 20192 mins
Data CenterNetworking

Verizon's proposed software-defined interconnect service (SDI) will help the company's customers connect Equinix colocation data centers.

Data matrix networking connections system
Credit: Thinkstock

Just days after AT&T hooked up with IBM and Microsoft for cloud service connectivity, Verizon announced a software-defined interconnect (SDI) service to help the carrier’s customers connect Equinix colocation data centers.

These two companies have a history. In 2017, Equinix acquired 29 Verizon data centers in the U.S and Latin America for $3.6 billion. So like AT&T, Verizon left data centers to the experts and focused on building connections to them.

As more enterprises move workloads into colocation facilities run by providers like Equinix, fast, secure connections between the enterprise and the colocation become a must. Verizon’s SDI service is designed to provide fast, reliable connectivity between customer and the colocation data center.

SDI is designed to address the challenges with colocation connections, like building the physical connection and provisioning. SDI leverages an API between the Verizon network and Equinix’s Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric), offering organizations with a private IP network direct connectivity to 115 International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers around the globe within minutes, while eliminating the need for dedicated physical connectivity. And that is Verizon’s pitch: simplicity and efficiency.

Verizon also touted its private Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network, saying it is seeing high double-digit traffic growth year over year, and the adoption of colocation services continues to proliferate as more businesses grapple with complex cloud deployments to achieve greater efficiency, flexibility, and additional functionality in data management.

It’s an odd mention, since MPLS is said to be falling out of favor as a networking protocol (but we have said otherwise), since MPLS is good for intra-networking functions but doesn’t lend itself to the cloud and going outside the firewall in general.

That’s probably because SDI is based on another Verizon service, Secure Cloud Interconnect, which was designed to provide enterprises with rapid, automated connectivity to multiple public cloud services. And SCI is built on Verizon’s Private IP MPLS-based VPN network.

Not that Verizon hasn’t gotten the SD-WAN religion; it has its own SD-WAN options and offers them side by side with MPLS because the two protocols are seen as complementary and not competitive.

Andy Patrizio is a freelance journalist based in southern California who has covered the computer industry for 20 years and has built every x86 PC he’s ever owned, laptops not included.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of ITworld, Network World, its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.

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