The cloud market is a multidimensional space, with a wide range of vendors having solutions designed for enterprise customers. However, the key aspect of cloud computing is that it is global in reach and therefore requires the various players to be connected with the lowest latency to make the technology usable. Equinix has expanded well beyond its original scope of providing co-location facilities to offer a range of services and solutions designed to ensure organizations can scale their business to meet demand globally.
Ovum research (ICT Enterprise Insights 2017/18 – Global: IoT, Cloud, and AI) has found that on average, organizations are running approximately 28% of their workload in the cloud. The strategy driving Equinix is based on the belief that the world is becoming more hybrid- and multi-cloud, and the global digital economy is in effect borderless. This means that customers and employees can be located in any country and must be able to interact with any location in the world. However, there is a trend for greater urbanization, as Parag Khanna describes in his 2016 book Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization. He writes that by 2032, over 2 billion people will migrate to major cities, creating 50 significant metro hubs. This urbanization will accelerate the demand for high-speed low-latency connectivity, and this is the reason why Equinix has been building a global footprint. It currently has a presence in 24 countries and 52 metro areas.
While the current approach by the global mega-cloud providers – AWS, Google Cloud Platform, etc. – is to move to large metro areas based on demand, Ovum considers that the future of the cloud will be a different kind of environment than we are seeing today. The edge will become of greater significance as processing, storage, and intelligence is divested closer to the ingress and egress point. This means that global interconnections between thousands of locations of varying size and complexity will be required to support a single company's business operations.
Equinix's approach has been to build a global network of carrier-neutral points of presence designed to meet this impending tsunami of distributed demand. However, this takes time and capital to achieve. Equinix has managed to position itself with the Wall Street investor community as more than a co-location provider, and it has predicted that it will see a CAGR of 8–10% through 2022, to become a $7bn company. It has also stated that over the next five years, it will invest over $10bn in core infrastructure to achieve this objective.
The Challenges and Benefits of Management in an as-a-Service World, INT003-000061 (March 2018)
Roy Illsley, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions