By Dawn Howell, Principal Product Manager, Equinix and Grant Kirkwood Chief Technology Officer, Unitas Global
Originally posted on Equinix | Interconnections
How to achieve a “one-stop” shop for connectivity at the cloud/data center edge.
Enterprises are typically expected to find their own last-mile access into data centers from network service providers (NSP), which can be a time-consuming and complex proposition. Today, companies need to do business at digital speed, which requires fast provisioning of reliable, scalable network connections, often times from diverse network providers. For example, when creating a hybrid multicloud infrastructure, last mile connectivity is critical to enable a company to seamlessly interconnect the private cloud at their corporate headquarters with their public cloud environment within an Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center.
To simplify the end-to-end process of locating, pricing and deploying network connections to the cloud from any available NSP, Equinix and Unitas Global have integrated the Equinix Cloud Exchange™ (ECX Fabric™) Customer Portal on Platform Equinix® with the Unitas Cloud Connectivity Manager (CCM) platform. The combination of these two platforms provides Equinix customers with the real time pricing and ordering of last mile Ethernet and internet access from their locations to a port on the ECX Fabric, for on-demand port-to-port connections.
The need for agile connectivity is a constant. And this has never been truer than in the current unpredictable environment of distributed workforces. With the interconnection of last mile Ethernet and internet services to the ECX fabric, the orchestrion of increasing bandwidth services is simplified.
An integrated one-stop shop to more than 500 network carriers
Unitas Global provides the industry’s only multi-network tool for acquiring network access to/from enterprise locations. The proprietary software platform uses geospatial data with a sophisticated route mapping and design algorithm to identify and price available access connectivity between enterprise locations and Equinix IBX data centers. Unitas CCM provides automated design and quotes to millions of commercial building addresses globally, completing a real-time market rate comparison with network availability assessment and providing a response of available near and on-net connectivity services. With over 500+ carriers in 85+ countries represented in the platform, CCM provides a unique advantage both in terms of design and diversity, as well as cost optimization. Its unique intelligence recommends the optimal design for price and performance of access connectivity to and between Equinix IBX facilities over an interconnected fabric of hundreds of NSPs.
By leveraging the ECX Fabric Customer Portal, enterprises and service providers can quickly identify the best network connectivity from multiple networks, and build end-to-end services to their data center and cloud assets over ECX Fabric via the Unitas CCM. Unitas simplifies the acquisition and management of end-to-end services by managing multiple NSPs across different geographies from one platform. Unitas last mile and internet access services via the ECX Fabric Customer Portal include:
-Visibility to the lowest-cost network carrier pricing for local access and internet connectivity option.
-Automated quoting and ordering of local access and internet connectivity services.
-Manage multiple local access connectivity quotes in one online location.
-Standardized and efficient ordering across multiple network suppliers.
-One contract and invoice for connectivity from multiple NSPs at an IBX data center location.
-Fast provisioning to turn-up and manage end-to-end connectivity, for a superior customer experience.
-One support team with sophisticated network management and monitoring platform, Unitas AtlasTM.
-Access to dense network and cloud service provider (CSP) and business ecosystems on Platform Equinix.
Integrated enterprise, network and cloud connectivity
The combination of the ECX Fabric Customer Portal and Unitas CCM enables users to easily design and build the most cost-effective and reliable connectivity options between customer on-premises data centers, Equinix IBXs and CSPs on Equinix’s global platform. CCM designs and prices connectivity services over a fabric of interconnections with network providers at strategic points of presence (POP) established at Equinix IBX locations. Available capacity can be aggregated, and secure, high-performance connectivity services can be provisioned simply and cost-effectively to your company’s PoP on Platform Equinix via ECX Fabric software-defined interconnection (see diagram below).
And if your company is not using the ECX Fabric, you can still use Unitas last mile and internet services via Network Edge virtual device using the ECX Fabric Customer Portal. ECX Fabric directly, securely and dynamically connects distributed infrastructure and digital (networks, clouds, SaaS, etc.) and business ecosystems, and customers globally on Platform Equinix. Enterprises and service providers can establish data center-to-data center network connections on demand between any two ECX Fabric locations within a metro or globally via software-defined interconnection. Network Edge enables access to network functions virtualization (NFV) services from providers such as Cisco, CloudGenix, Fortinet, Juniper Networks, Palo Alto Networks and Versa Networks. Network Edge is optimized for instant deployment and interconnection of network services. Both ECX Fabric and Network Edge seamlessly interconnect to Unitas local access and internet services and can be provisioned via the ECX Fabric Customer Portal.
Equinix ECX Fabric/Unitas CCM Last Mile Solution
Equinix customers can take advantage of Unitas platform to quickly design direct and secure interconnection between their IT infrastructures and CSPs on Platform Equinix for the lowest latency across hybrid multicloud environments. They can also seamlessly provision end-to-end connections from their on-premises corporate and edge data centers to their IT infrastructures on Platform Equinix via a choice of the most competitively priced, local NSPs.
End-to-end delivery and network management
Unitas provides tools across the full lifecycle of local access services – design, price, order, delivery and management. Once your local access services are connected through ECX, Unitas AtlasTM provides data center customers with a single pane of glass for in-depth monitoring of the cross-domain network infrastructure. Unitas AtlasTM is vendor/technology-neutral and enables enterprises to proactively manage complex, multi-vendor network infrastructures 24x7x365. It provides comprehensive monitoring and management of network services and hybrid multicloud infrastructures with a single view of end-to-end services. This gives IT organizations near real-time visibility and control, including fault and performance management and integrated trouble ticketing and reporting. With a single view from the edge to the data center to the cloud, IT organizations will be able to see physical and virtual services and bandwidth utilization to maintain service availability, as well as identify when there is a need to increase service bandwidth to avoid congestion.
How it all works
Click and watch a step-by-step walk-through of pricing and configuring network connectivity using Unitas CCM.