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Equinix expands digital services, targets DX migration plans

Data centre provider Equinix Inc. today introduced new offerings across the country, which it said are targeted at Canadian businesses currently in the midst of or planning a digital transformation (DX) initiative.

Announced were the expansion of its Network Edge Service, which is now available in Montreal and Toronto, to Vancouver, and the nation-wide launch of Equinix Managed Services, as well as an enhanced portfolio of offerings in Western Canada and Montreal.

Network Edge Service, the company said in a release, represents a “new way to deploy virtual network services within minutes, at the digital edge without a physical data centre deployment or hardware requirements.

“(It) enables companies to reduce capital expenses and scale IT and network services globally by virtually deploying digital-ready infrastructure.”

Equinix Managed Services is available in North America for the first time, and is accessible to organizations through nodes in Calgary, Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Montreal, and Saint John.

It is targeted at DX projects and focuses on the replacement, modernization and expansion of the IT environment, Equinix said.

Also announced was an expansion of services at the Kamloops and Vancouver data centres that includes the introduction of the following:

  • Equinix Fabric, a software-defined interconnection service allowing a business to connect between its own distributed infrastructure and any other via Platform Equinix, the company’s global platform of data centres located around the world.
  • Equinix Precision Time, a network timie service “designed to help enterprises that require precise time synchronization to run critical applications more effectively and securely.”
  • Equinix Internet Access, which provides Internet access in Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centres. There are currently 15 such facilities across Canada, with six in Toronto, three in Calgary, and one in each of Saint John, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Kamloops and Vancouver.

In addition, customers in Montreal now have access to Equinix Internet Exchange, which enables networks, content providers and large enterprises to exchange Internet traffic through a global peering offering that, according to Equinix, spans 30+ markets.

The expansion comes at a time, says Andrew Eppich, managing director of Equinix Canada, when “businesses have accelerated their digital transformation strategies, while facing new challenges including increased cyber threats and supply chain disruptions.”

Digital transformation accelerates

Evidence of that acceleration in Canada and elsewhere was contained in findings of an annual Equinix survey of 2,900 IT decision-makers released last month, which revealed that 72 per cent of respondents plan to expand their organization geographically in the next 12 months.

In Canada, upwards of one-third of organizations are considering expansion into a new region, 22 per cent into a new city and 20 per cent into a new country.

Karl Strohmeyer, chief customer officer at Equinix, wrote in the study’s executive summary that as “the world continues to face new challenges and navigate uncharted territories, businesses must become ever more agile. Leaders will need the ability to pivot at a moment’s notice to position themselves to take full advantage of the opportunities ahead.

“Concerns over labour shortages, supply chain challenges and the new hybrid work dynamic are driving a need for more virtualization. As they attempt to regain their footing in the wake of the pandemic and an uncertain economic outlook, businesses must explore more resilient digital infrastructure solutions that drive both cost and revenue benefits for their organizations.”

In Canada, the top five threats to business growth include cyberattacks (cited by 75 per cent), security breaches and data leaks (72 per cent), global microchip shortage (71 per cent), a shortage in IT talent (70 per cent) and changing regulatory requirements around data privacy (68 per cent).

Findings also revealed that continued supply chain issues are driving a need for more virtualization. To that end, 39 per cent respondents expect to “facilitate global expansion plans by deploying virtually via the cloud.”

Digital transformations, said Eppich, “have experienced a significant acceleration over the past two years, as organizations had to quickly apply theoretical strategies to remain operational.

“With many Canadian businesses saying technological changes are here to stay, businesses are looking to invest in their digital infrastructure, people and sustainability efforts to fuel their post-pandemic recovery.”

On the sustainability front, two-thirds of respondents indicated they “are measuring and actively trying to limit the environmental impact of their IT equipment.”

Tara Risser, president of the Americas at Equinix, said, “following two disruptive years that accelerated digital transformation, many IT decision-makers are turning their attention to future-proofing their business, complying with data protection regulations and creating better customer experiences.

“Canada has a robust economy with strong global trade connections with all G7 members. Digital infrastructure investments also play a key role in empowering the Canadian economy.”

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