Equinix acquires Packet, adding bare metal servers to the mix

Last month Equinix shared the exciting news that it has acquired Packet, a specialist in bare metal provisioning.

Here at teknowlogy Group, we see this as a real step forward for "Platform Equinix", the company’s SaaS-like interface that enables easy provisioning and management of infrastructure used by customers in Equinix Data Centres. The platform already allows customers to deploy network connections and to access cloud services using Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (Equinix’s SDN solution). Since last year it also allows deployment of virtual network devices as VNFs in a growing number of Equinix DCs, as well as providing cloud-agnostic cryptographic key management and storage using Equinix’s HSM-as-a-service capability.

[For a more detailed look at Equinix, subscribers should refer to our Expert View report here]

These are critical capabilities, because they address one of the most pressing challenges in IT: the need for simplicity.

As organizations of all shapes and sizes embrace the hybrid IT operating model, most organizations realize that some parts of their IT estate are not a good fit for public cloud. At the same time it is often uneconomic to maintain the same teams, resources and data centres that were needed in the pre-cloud era.  Equinix seems to be focusing on enabling organizations to simplify the delivery and operation of the parts of the IT that don’t fit in public clouds, while at the same time making non-cloud IT more flexible.

Equinix makes it easy to implement, change or delete connections to network providers, cloud services, or other Equinix users, and provide virtualised network devices to manage and secure the connections.  With the acquisition of Packet, the company is staking a claim in the market for next-gen delivery of traditional IT, both dedicated and potentially private cloud.

This is not completely new territory – HPE is already going great guns in the same space with its GreenLake offering (available both hosted and at customer premises), and Dell is also trying take some of this market with its Cloud Platform.

But Equinix is quietly building out a powerful capability, based on a simple, low-friction proposition. There’s no rocket-science involved, and no very advanced services, but that’s exactly the point – Equinix makes it easy to deploy simple foundational capabilities (which customers are therefore willing to entrust to a third party) as services. For many organizations – and especially in remote geographies – that simplification will be compelling. The addition of SaaS-enabled remote server provisioning and management will add substantially to the proposition - something that will appeal to multinational enterprises and systems integrators alike.  If Packet technology can be quickly and gracefully integrated into the Equinix management environment, we see this acquisition as entirely positive for both Equinix and its ecosystem.