Leading Collaboration Platforms Already Run on Interconnections

Image credit: iStockphoto/oatawa

When Rakuten Mobile needed to deliver its Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP) to global operators and enterprise customers, it realized it needed to collaborate to provide the best result.

Selecting Equinix as the foundation for its platform, Rakuten will roll out its platform in phases, with an initial deployment in Singapore and Los Angeles. Future expansion is planned across the U.S., E.M.E.A., and Asia Pacific.

With demand for network services snowballing by an estimated 400% in the five years through to 2022, interconnecting to multiple providers across multiple edge locations presents the most compelling use case to deliver interconnection bandwidth.

Governments and enterprises are seeking secure, affordable, and scalable ways to meet this growing demand, which Rakuten expects its RCP to achieve.

A new interconnection-led architecture

The Rakuten example is only one of many, as enterprise networks evolve for the new era of hybrid IT and where connectivity is dispersed across vast areas and multiple points.

This was happening well before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the experience of the last 12 months has only accelerated it, making the Platform Equinix model even more relevant.

“Thousands of digital leaders have used Platform Equinix to establish their digital edge in the world’s most strategic locations, leveraging ecosystem choice to create a global fabric that aggregates last-mile access to people and things that directly interconnects services from the widest variety of dense ecosystems,” says Craig Matsumoto, senior analyst for datacenter networking at 451 Research.

In a 2020 research paper, ‘Architecting Hybrid IT and Edge for Digital Advantage,’ Matsumoto articulated the rapidly evolving challenges organizations face.

“As the deployment options for hybrid IT continue to transform core business processes, enterprises are being pushed closer to the edge, spurred by oncoming trends such as edge analytics, 5G, and IoT,” he wrote.

“These shifts have resulted in new distributed models, and as a result, connectivity across ecosystems, partners, and SaaS applications has become the enterprise’s lifeblood and cannot be left to the vagaries of the public internet. In this new world, distance has become the silent digital-business killer,” he continued.

Enterprises could respond by turning to a new architecture based on interconnection. Or they can leverage colocation in multitenant datacenters.

Because these datacenters are already home to the strategic network, cloud, and business ecosystems that enterprises rely on, this strategy can improve performance while simultaneously reducing transport costs.

“Think of this combination – colocation plus interconnection to rich ecosystems — as a way to regain control over all this networking,” Matsumoto says.

“Not only does this architecture provide the lowest latency to the largest number of destinations, but since these connections are private, they bypass the internet and should provide a boost in reliability.”

Programmable interconnections

The strategy can be furthered by the advent of software-programmable interconnection that is customizable through APIs globally.  The ability to reach markets globally and interact locally has become the standard for digital business.

The platforms are also able to deploy next-generation technologies, such as artificial intelligence.

This month, Equinix announced that Precision Robotics, a surgical robotics start-up from Imperial College London, has deployed an NVIDIA DGX™ A100 system in the Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) in Hong Kong, HK4.

Through this deployment, Precision Robotics aims to develop next-generation surgical robots to support the future of precision surgery for personalized healthcare and improved quality of life.

The rising demand for modern robotic surgery is attributed to the acceleration of digital transformation in the healthcare industry. 

To support its vision of developing the next generation of surgical robots, Precision Robotics needed a high-power digital infrastructure to run a DGX A100 system for machine learning and AI development.

“Latency looms large, especially for high-performance edge applications, IoT, and 5G use cases,” says Matsumoto. “The distance to critical resources and users is becoming a crucial factor, one that enterprises can address by taking advantage of edge computing in ecosystem-dense colocation facilities.”

“Core business workloads are often composed of multiple parts, including front-end applications that have to scale capacity; high-transaction data warehousing that has to scale up to achieve performance thresholds; and integration with ecosystem partners,” he adds.

Lachlan Colquhoun is the Australia and New Zealand correspondent for CDOTrends and HR&DigitalTrends, and the editor of NextGen Connectivity. His fascination is with how businesses are reinventing themselves through digital technology and collaborate with others to become completely new organizations. You can reach him at [email protected].

Image credit: iStockphoto/oatawa