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Rewiring corporate networks for the remote working age

By Sara Barker
Mon 22 Jun 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Every country is in a different stage of its journey to COVID recovery – while some businesses are opening their doors, many are still working from home.

Remote workforces need to access corporate networks from their homes, which means those networks need to be more flexible and scalable than ever before. After all, there are probably only a few (if any) times when there is nobody in the office day or night.

NFV – transforming corporate networks to support emerging business needs

Network functions virtualisation (NFV) can support remote workforces. It can simplify how corporate networks are planned, deployed, and managed, typically in a cost-efficient, reliable, expandable, and secure platform.

But there is a learning process that both communications service providers and enterprise end users need to go through.

According to Gartner’s 2020 State of NFV report, many networking solution vendors and communications service providers (CSPs) are still getting to grips with virtualisation services.

Gartner predicts that CSPs will accelerate their service deployments via NFV-as-a-Service offerings while utilising cloud-bursting to optimise capacity. This will enable NFV to mature as enterprises start to adopt the technology.

A further report, Market Trends: SD-WAN and NFV for Enterprise Network Services, hints that the market is unsure about network function virtualisation (NFV)-based WAN edge adoption, citing concerns such as complexity and cost. However, enterprises that avoid NFV may also miss out on significant benefits such as improved service agility, as well as a frictionless customer experience when used with machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI)

An Equinix study of 1300 IT and networking professionals found that 10% of respondents have widely deployed NFV, while 23% have rolled out selected deployment. 

NFV has clearly demonstrated an ability to help network architects achieve a more flexible, scalable, and agile environment at a time when IT and networking functions must be resilient.

Many organisations will have questions about NFV and its use cases within their business.

Equinix’s Network Edge NFV solution supports enterprise IT leaders, network architects, service providers and other organisations that need a way to tame network complexity.

Find out more about NFV here.

Network support for online collaboration and communication tools

In addition to flexible networks, many remote workforces rely on online collaboration and communication tools. Chances are your organisation has conducted or participated in a videoconference meeting, generally on a platform such as Zoom.

As a tool, Zoom must be able to deliver a frictionless, reliable, and secure service across video meetings, webinars, chat, and voice across desktops, mobile devices, conference rooms, and more. 

To meet growing customer demand, Zoom needed to build out its presence efficiently and cost-effectively in new markets such as Asia Pacific. 

It turned to long time strategic partner Equinix to make that happen. Equinix provides an extensive colocation footprint and interconnection portfolio across major business hubs, which Zoom leverages in locations such as Silicon Valley, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt.

Zoom leverages Equinix Internet Exchange to achieve more scalable network-peering aggregation across its global carriers. 

Zoom also harnessed Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric) software-defined interconnection to quickly set up and scale its access to networks, clouds, partners, and customers in days.

In addition to high-speed, low-latency virtual connections and fast deployment of video UC services to customers, Zoom also has two data centers in each of the Asia Pacific, EMEA, and Americas regions to support reliable disaster recovery backup.

The global Equinix team was a critical part of our solution in helping enterprises quickly connect to us worldwide,” says Zoom’s senior manager of SaaS operations, Alex Guerrero.

“Our customers decide how they want to access our services, and more and more it is with Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric.”

Zoom reports a reduction in network costs, an increase in scalability, and regulation-compliant voice and data privacy connections via direct, secure private interconnection. 

And the evidence of the platform’s success is right in front of your eyes every time you use Zoom.

Zoom and Equinix discuss more about the partnership in this video:

To learn more about Platform Equinix and Equinix ECX Fabric, click here.

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