Equinix makes major investment in upgrading services for Canadian markets

The new services, one of which is unique to Canada in North America, will provide new opportunities for Equinix channel partners.

Andrew Eppich, Managing Director at Equinix Canada

Colocation provider Equinix has announced a series of initiatives  designed to upgrade the services it makes available to their Canadian customers. They include the expansion of their Network Edge Service, which has already been available in Toronto and Montreal. Equinix is also making their Equinix Managed Services offering, which is not yet available in the U.S., to all their Canadian customers, making it the first time the service will be offered in North America.

The services Equinix offers at their Vancouver and Kamloops and Data Centers are also being expanded to include Equinix Fabric, Equinix Internet Access, and Equinix Precision Time. Finally, Montreal customers in Montreal will be able to access Equinix Internet Exchange, the second Data Center to have access to the service in Canada after Toronto.

Equinix made a considerable investment in 2020 in buying the Bell Canada facilities in Canada,” said Andrew Eppich, Managing Director at Equinix Canada. “At that time, I said we would be expanding our platforms further, and these investments will absolutely continue. In this announcement, they come in the form of product availability.”

Perhaps the most intriguing of them is the making available of Equinix Managed Services offering to all Canadian customers, the first time the service will be offered in North America.

“This is the idea of a managed services offering that eliminations interconnectivity and other burdens,” Eppich said. “Our role has been in the context of interconnection points. It’s not a market that was available in the U.S., and is basically the result of acquisitions. In Canada, this exploits the richness of the  assets that we bought from Bell, and builds off of those assets. It also starts integrating these building blocks into a broader net.”

Eppich said that the size of the managed service business for Equinix in Canada is similar to Brazil, and much higher than in the US.

“Globally, investments are being made to unify these regional outposts into a more consistent whole,” he emphasized.

The expansion of Network Edge by Equinix to Vancouver network uses network functions virtualization [NFV], to give customers in that region the choice of virtual network services from leading vendors, in order to deploy virtual network services, within minutes, at the digital edge without a physical data center deployment or hardware requirements.

“Bringing Network Edge to Vancouver will let companies there reduce their capital expenses,” Eppich said.

Equinix will also be expanding its portfolio of services at its Kamloops and Vancouver Data Centers. Businesses will now be able to access Equinix Fabric, Equinix Internet Access, and Equinix Precision Time.

“We now have Equinix Fabric in in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Kamloops and Vancouver,” Eppich said. “Kamloops is smaller, but has some important customers including the provincial government. We are also seeing CSP partners investing in Calgary to create availability zones.”

Eppich also noted the importance of Equinix Precision Time.

“Bringing Equinix Managed Services to market for first time in North America requires an SLS accuracy  of 50 ms, and Precision Timing is important for that,” he said.

Demand for all of these services has increased.

“55% of Canadian IT leaders said that the COVID crisis accelerated their investments,” Eppich said. “48% of respondents saw an increased investment in interconnection services for edge workloads. The opportunity to push the edge to where data can be analyzed is very much what we support globally and now in regions across Canada.”

Eppich indicated as well that this upgrade in services would have significant implications for Equinix’s partners in Canada.

“It puts more tools in the partner’s kit bag,” he said. “This year we received the HPE GreenLake Momentum partner of the year. For large infrastructure players like Bell or Mobia or Powerland, it absolutely complements their strategy.”

Finally, Eppich stressed that Equinix is proud that they we are doing this in a sustainable way.

“We have a goal of 100% clean and renewable aspiration in all data centres by 2030,” he said. “We are now at 95%.”