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Equinix debuts highly distributed, low-latency bare metal deployment option for VMware Cloud

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Data center infrastructure firm Equinix Inc. said today it’s partnering with virtualization software giant VMware Inc. to give enterprises a new, bare metal deployment option for VMware Cloud.

The new offering is called VMware Cloud on Equinix Metal. It’s billed as a distributed cloud service that enables companies to deploy higher performing and more cost-effective applications than they can with existing deployment options.

The service combines VMware’s managed and supported cloud infrastructure-as-a-service with Equinix’s popular bare metal-as-a-service offering. It brings the advantage of extending VMware users’ cloud environments into more distributed metro locations, providing higher performance at the edge.

Equinix is a provider of distributed digital infrastructure and colocation services. It owns a number of huge data centers that are scattered across the world, renting out capacity from these facilities to companies that want more control over the infrastructure they use. It gives its customers a way to do this without making expensive investments in server and storage hardware.

Equinix bare-metal-as-a-service is an infrastructure offering that enables customers to deploy workloads on servers that don’t have any operating system pre-installed. With it, customers can create more customized hardware configurations than is possible with regular server infrastructure.

For instance, they can choose to rent servers powered by specific processors from Intel Corp., Advanced Micro Devices Inc. or Nvidia Corp. The real advantage of Equinix bare metal-as-a-service, however, is its widely distributed nature, with Equinix’s offerings available in more than 240 data centers located in over 70 of the world’s major metropolitan areas.

With VMware Cloud on Equinix Metal, enterprises now have the option to run VMware’s software-defined data center stack on Equinix’s unique bare metal infrastructure. Customers can access the full breadth of VMware’s virtualization offerings while taking advantage of the highly customized and distributed nature of Equinix’s servers.

It’s likely to be a tempting proposition because it promises extremely low-latency for enterprise applications together with performance advantages and data locality benefits, meaning companies have full control over where different datasets are stored. At the same time, it offers fast, private and low-latency connectivity to all major public cloud platforms and services.

Equinix said VMware Cloud on Equinix Metal is a good bet for those using VMware’s infrastructure to power smart cities, video analytics, game development, real-time financial market trading, retail point-of-sale, “internet of things” and artificial intelligence workloads.

Zachary Smith, Equinix’s global head of edge infrastructure services, believes enterprises are looking for a more consistent application experience that spans both public and private clouds from the core to the edge. “Customers benefit from secure connections to their critical private or on-prem environments and also to the thousands of clouds, networks and other ecosystem participants that come together at Equinix,” Smith said.

To take advantage of VMware Cloud on Equinix Metal, customers will be required to subscribe to the VMware Cloud software-as-a-service offering and then rent the required bare metal-as-a-service capacity from Equinix.

International Data Corp. analyst Dave McCarthy said that until now, enterprises have always struggled to find a suitable deployment option for VMware that combines on-premises-level security and control with cloud-like performance, data locality and cost effectiveness.

“For mission-critical applications that rely on low latency and high-performance network bandwidth, the default has been to retain workloads on-premises or perform real-time needs, such as data processing, at branch office or metro locations,” McCarthy said. “With their combined strengths, Equinix and VMware are well-positioned to deliver a distributed cloud service that will address the demands of enterprise applications where latency, performance, security and data locality are key drivers.”

Image: rawpixel/Pixabay

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