The new Equinix CEO Charles Meyers sees potential in providing NFV and 5G services, he told SDxCentral.
The company promoted Meyers, its former president of strategy, services, and innovation, to the chief executive post today. One of his tasks in his previous role was developing Equinix’s hyperscale infrastructure team, or HIT. This is its strategy to build data centers expressly for hyperscale cloud providers. Its first such dedicated facility is slated to open in the first quarter of 2019.
This effort is moving along successfully, Meyers said. And the Equinix CEO pointed to new opportunities like NFV, IoT, and 5G services.
Partnering on NFV
“We believe there are additional opportunities for us in areas that we haven’t talked publicly about, things like NFV, which represents a potential service opportunity for a company like Equinix,” he said.
When asked if the company plans to develop NFV technologies in house or partner with other technology providers, he said “the answer to that is sort of a yes.”
What he means by that is that Equinix will provide the platform but partner with other companies to offer their virtual network functions (VNFs) on top of it. “Our customer would have access to best of breed,” he said. “For example, they may want to get a load balancing solution from an F5 or a leading firewall from a Palo Alto Networks. What we can do is provide the platform but host the market-leading VNFs that our customers would want.”
The company is targeting 2019 for these new services.
Intersection of AI and IoT
In addition to virtualization services, IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), and 5G are all new areas that represent potential business opportunity for Equinix, Meyers said.
Equinix has more than 288,000 interconnection points, which link network, cloud, and IT service providers, and enterprise customers. Its Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric is an on-demand platform that uses SDN to connect data center customers to any other customer at any Equinix facility globally.
The company provides similar direct, private connections to more than 2,500 cloud service providers including infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-services (SaaS) companies in its 200 data centers worldwide. These include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, Oracle Cloud, AT&T, and Verizon.
This massive network of service providers and enterprise customers puts it in a prime position to help both sectors develop, deploy, and monetize these emerging technologies.
“We’re seeing a lot of companies saying, ‘I’ve got a lot of data I’m bringing from IoT devices of various sorts,’ and they want to act on that data to gain insights or directly monetize insights using AI-type services available from the cloud,” Meyers said. “They think of Equinix as a convenient hub because we have the network capabilities that allow them to ingest data, and the cloud proximity to access cloud-based, AI-type services cost effectively and efficiently.”
Reducing 5G Costs
When it comes to 5G, “how to optimize 5G network deployments seems to be an area that would play into our sweet spot as well,” he said.
Equinix is looking into using its own facilities and third-party facilities to reduce the capital costs associated with deploying 5G, both RAN and core networks, he added.
“The world is taking a big gulp and going wow, that’s trillions of dollars of network equipment needed to effectively deploy 5G,” Meyers said. “We’ve had a number of governmental entities reach out and say, ‘is there a way we can think about using your platform and a different approach to network aggregation for 5G to reduce the cost of network deployment?’”