Equinix Metal expands footprint, networking features

Equinix has changed over the last 23 years in business and now considers itself more of a digital infrastructure platform company. (Pixabay)

Equinix knows how to celebrate an anniversary. One year to the day after closing its acquisition of bare metal server firm Packet, the longtime provider of colocation and interconnection services announced that its Equinix Metal bare metal services have expanded to 18 metro areas worldwide.

Along with this announcement, Equinix also said in a press release that it launched a managed appliance-as-a-service program and its first partner for that offering. Network storage provider Pure Storage is working with Equinix to enable the Pure Storage on Equinix Metal service. In addition, Equinix rounded out its news day with the unveiling of new networking features to support hybrid multi-cloud architectures, and the certification of new software integrations on Equinix Metal. 

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Regarding the Equinix Metal footprint expansion, the company’s bare metal services are now available in three global regions, including the Americas (Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, São Paulo, Silicon Valley, Toronto and Washington, D.C.); in EMEA (Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Madrid and Paris); and in Asia-Pacific (Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.)

Jacob Smith, vice president, strategy for Equinix Metal, told FierceTelecom, “Most of the customers for this are companies that have ideas about becoming more disaggregated, but they need more than that. If they can have someone else manage it, their use cases for it will move much faster.”

Pure made for a natural early partner for the managed appliance as-a-service offering because customers had come to Equinix and specifically asked for a Pure storage service, Smith said. Other new managed appliance-as-a-service solutions include an expanded collaboration with Dell Technologies to offer Bare Metal as a Service on Dell Technologies. Equinix plans to create a series of these solutions that are non-exclusive and can include multiple providers from its ecosystem in each solution category, according to the company’s statement on the new offerings. 

Regarding the new networking features, the company outlined its Advanced Networking with Equinix Fabric Integration, allowing Equinix Metal platform customers to access Equinix Fabric integration options, including port speeds up to 100 Gbps, to initiate private, low-latency connections to the more than 10,000 networks, enterprises, clouds and SaaS platforms available on Platform Equinix. Also featured is a new “hybrid bonded” network mode for high availability in hybrid cloud environments. In addition, Equinix Network Edge allows users to quickly add branded virtual network services to their environments.

Among the new software integrations, Equinix Metal now supports hybrid multi-cloud infrastructures, including Mirantis Container Cloud and the Cohesity Helios multi-cloud data platform.

Equinix’s new bare metal services and features continue to evolve the brand identity of the 23-year-old company. After the $335 million Packet acquisition closed a year ago, Equinix continued to highlight the Packet name, referring to its bare metal business as “Packet, an Equinix company,” but by last fall, the business had been completely rebranded as Equinix Metal.

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“We’re evolving our lineage as an ecosystem of networks to become an ecosystem of hardware as well,” Smith said, adding, “We’re a digital infrastructure platform company. We’re in the building blocks business, and bare metal is just another feature on that platform.”