September 21, 2021 By Nicholas Woodyard 3 min read

This collaboration enables a seamless connectivity experience, linking on-premises infrastructure to IBM Cloud resources via Equinix Fabric.

IBM and Equinix have a long-standing partnership to help enterprises accelerate their hybrid multicloud journey. The enterprise shift to hybrid cloud and multicloud as the standard is evident in recent developments in the cloud landscape. According to IBM, 94% of enterprises today are operating in de facto hybrid environments with a mix of public and private cloud, traditional IT and numerous SaaS applications. 67% are using a combination of multiple cloud vendors, with different tools and management systems for each. Equinix collaborated with IBM to provide more private cloud onramps to IBM Cloud through Platform Equinix via Equinix Fabric™.

IBM and Equinix now provide a fully API-integrated ordering experience for IBM Cloud customers, with an industry-leading cloud connectivity solution. This integration offers automated ordering and a user-friendly experience for customers seeking to connect to their IBM Cloud environments. In addition, Equinix Fabric provides low-latency, high-capacity and software-defined interconnection to IBM Cloud — enabling direct, private, and secure access to our global service and content providers ecosystem.

IBM Direct Link on Platform Equinix enhances direct integration with IBM Cloud

The speed and reliability of IBM Cloud Direct Link over Equinix Fabric allow you to extend your on-premises network with consistent, high-throughput private connectivity. IBM Cloud Direct Link is available in 17 Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center locations across three regions. In addition, enterprises can easily and privately connect to IBM Cloud from any Equinix Fabric global location. Equinix Fabric is now available in over 50 metros globally:

Benefits of IBM Cloud Direct Link on Platform Equinix include the following:

  • Private connectivity between on-premises data centers and IBM Cloud environments.
  • Low-latency, reliable access to IBM Cloud services, including IBM Cloud Paks®, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), bare metal compute and cloud storage.
  • Stability, high availability and security.
  • Pay-as-you-go billing from both IBM Cloud and Equinix.

API integration with Equinix Fabric means that customers can provision IBM Cloud Direct Link through the Fabric portal in minutes.

IBM Cloud Environment via Direct Link and Platform Equinix via Equinix Fabric

The Direct Link offering allows connectivity to both classic IaaS and VPCs, whereas Direct Link (1.0) on Classic connects only to the IaaS network. Note that your classic account must be enabled for Virtual Router Forwarding (VRF).

The new API integration and support for Direct Link provides several enhancements:

  • Provisioning Direct Link within minutes as an entirely self-service user experience. 
  • Support for multiple VPCs, with or without access from Direct Link on Classic within the same account.
  • BYOIP (Bring Your Own IP) address options with VPC to create native connectivity between an on-premises environment and IBM Cloud.
  • Metered billing, which provides flexibility and lowers the barrier of entry to IBM Cloud.

Customers on Platform Equinix benefit from being able to access the following Direct Link offerings: 

  • Direct Link Dedicated is a single-tenant, fiber-based cross-connect that enables a private network connection to IBM Cloud. It can also be used by colocation facilities adjacent to IBM Cloud points of presence (PoP) and data centers. In addition, users can select speeds of 1 Gbps, 2 Gbps, 5 Gbps and 10 Gbps.
  • Direct Link Connect allows IBM Cloud users to quickly establish and deliver connectivity to IBM Cloud locations via Equinix Fabric. Equinix is connected to the IBM Cloud network using multi-tenant, high-capacity network-to-network interfaces (NNIs). Users can select between speeds of 50 Mbps, 100 Mbps, 200 Mbps, 500 Mbps, 1 Gbps, 2 Gbps and 5 Gbps.

Supporting diverse redundant and multicloud deployments

The default deployments of Direct Link Connect on Platform Equinix via Equinix Fabric do not require a redundant configuration, although redundancy can be deployed in different ways on discrete routers. However, many enterprise customers choose to create redundant deployments by setting up an additional Direct Link connection. With that in mind, IBM recommends establishing a second, diverse direct link to prevent outages, whether unplanned or planned due to maintenance.

Direct Link integration supports wider IBM collaboration initiative

Equinix is known for its industry-leading data center reliability, unrivalled and connected ecosystems of network and cloud and content providers available in more than 220 IBX data centers in 63 metros around the world.

The integration of Equinix Fabric and IBM Cloud Direct Link is a crucial element for a customer seeking a comprehensive cloud networking topology that encompasses several IBM and Equinix services. These include the Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud container platform and IBM Cloud Satellite.

Learn more about connecting to IBM Cloud via Direct Link 2.0 with Equinix Fabric at our product documentation portal.

This post was written in collaboration with David McCullough, Global Platform Integrated Products lead for Equinix.

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