Equinix thinks the enterprise is its big opportunity going forward. The focus of this effort is Performance Hub, a network optimization offering that offers an attractive entry point into the Equinix model. It’s part consulting and part formalization of some proven designs.
Performance Hub improves network and application performance. It is an extension node of a company's existing network that enables it to locate equipment in Equinix data centers, and then connect directly to network and cloud providers for reduced latency and improved performance.
The goal for Performance Hub is to expand Equinix's customer base beyond the Internet sector and into the enterprise. The multi-tenant data center giant has already established itself as a major player in terms of cloud providers, Internet companies, media and advertising specialists, and systems integrators. The next step is products and services to court the enterprise, which it has done well with, but where it sees the most potential for growth going forward.
Entry Point for the Enterprise
"We see this as an entry point to the Equinix model for the medium enterprise and above," said Ryan Mallory, Sr. Director for Global Solutions Architects at Equinix. "We’re helping our network and cloud providers provide service to them. For medium and large enterprises, they can build infrastructure and feel like a Tier 1 provider."
So far Equinix has seen good penetration and adoption in oil and gas, beverage, and logistics companies.
Performance Hub is a technical solution that originated two years ago with some internal testing with a very large client. It became a formalized process and just recently launched officially.
"What Performance Hub allows us to do is it allows us to look at the customer’s architecture and optimize it,” said Mallory. “Here’s a cabinet, here’s some routing and switching and WAN acceleration. We’ve seen and tested this in Equinix-validated designs. While we’ve defined the program around Performance Hub, each individual client is very unique."
What they look at, from the customer perspective, is the demographics in the market. Is the customer a single office, or a hundred offiices?
“With that, we can start sizing the hardware infrastructure that they need," said Mallory. "Do they need bandwidth aggregation calculation? From a bandwidth perspective we help identify the technical components, whether it be routing or switching. Above that, there’s some flexibility in terms of what the customer wants. Do they want a public IP gateway? What kind of WAN acceleration do they need?”
Growing Focus on Services
These additional services make the idea of outsourcing to Equinix an easier one for enterprises.
“With Performance Hub, what we’ve seen is tremendous savings in terms of cost aggregation inside the IBX (data center) ," said Mallory. "It allows you direct access to clients or companies inside that IBX. Putting a performance hub in, you can cross connect to Cisco, etc, whomever you want to.”
The big picture at Equinix is that is has been moving beyond colocation - a product defined in terms of space and power - and developing services around the enterprise. “We’re continuing to expand our focus around solutions,” said Mallory. “If they want us to help to build the whole deployment model for them, we can do that. We’ve also formalized Equinix consulting services.”
Performance Hub also ties directly into the customer marketplace the company launched several years ago, which continues to evolve as the company adds more features. One recent addition is circuit quoting tools. You can go in and understand what carriers are in what building,” said Mallory. “This is in partnership with Global Capacity.”
Performance Hub is supported by 30 architects around the globe, but the company plans to add 10 more. While the concept kicked off two years ago with a proof of concept, the Performance Hub offering was only officially launched two weeks ago.