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Equinix picks up bare metal cloud provider Packet to bolster its edge computing play

Colocation giant Equinix hits the acquistion trail to round out its edge computing offering to enterprises

Equinix is to acquire bare metal cloud provider Packet to bolster its edge computing and hybrid cloud proposition for enterprises, and retain its lead in the colocation market.

The colocation giant has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the New York-based startup, which specialises in providing bare metal public cloud and edge compute services. The deal is expected to close later this quarter.

Equinix said it plans to draw on Packet’s capabilities to speed up the development and delivery of its own edge compute offering, and provide customers with on-demand access to bare metal services to run their own workloads.

Its technology will also be incorporated into Platform Equinix – the name given to the firm’s interconnected ecosystem of public cloud providers and datacentre facilities.

In a blog post discussing the deal, Packet CEO Zachary Smith said being able to tap into Platform Equinix will bring scalability benefits to its existing customer base, as it means they can access more than 200 datacentres in 55 different markets.

“As with any transaction, there is a lot of work to do,” wrote Smith. “But what I’m most excited about is our 2020 roadmap, which includes significant investments across our portfolio.”

These investments will pave the way for the creation of new public cloud locations, in addition to the seven Equinix already operates in the US, Amsterdam, Tokyo and Singapore, said Smith.

In the meantime, Packet will continue to work towards its goal of “building a better internet” with additional help from Equinix.

“We knew we could change the way things worked for the better and allow hundreds – or even thousands – of companies to innovate across all layers of the stack,” said Smith.

Equinix, meanwhile, said the addition of Packet’s bare metal automation technology to its portfolio will pave the way for its customers to access hybrid, multicloud infrastructure as and when they need it.

“By acquiring Packet, Equinix will add important new on-demand deployment alternatives that meet the market’s full range of use cases,” the company said in a statement.

“With a combined Equinix and Packet solution, enterprises and service providers will be able to build and deploy low-latency services at the edge, either through their choice of owned physical deployments, or by utilising the combined offering, which leverages as-a-service consumption to reduce capital expenditure and resource requirements.”

Read more about colocation market trends

Sara Baack, chief product officer at Equinix, said there is a lot of overlap between the two firms, in strategy terms, that make them a great fit for each other.

“Packet’s innovative and agile bare metal service, and neutral approach to software stacks, fit our own cloud-neutral model and match our strategy for helping enterprises flexibly deploy digital infrastructure, within minutes, at global scale,” said Baack.

“Our combined strengths will further empower companies to be everywhere they need to be, to interconnect everyone and integrate everything that matters to their business.”

News of the acquisition comes several months after two of Equinix’s biggest rivals, Digital Realty and Interxion, announcing merger plans of their own as the competition in the colocation market continues to heat up.

This is being driven, in no small part, by the growing colocation capacity demand from the hyperscale cloud and internet giants, that tend to favour datacentre operators with large, server farm footprints to support their global expansion plans.

Some organisations have responded to this trend by buying up other colocation companies to increase the size of their global datacentre portfolios.

Equinix, however, has taken a slightly different approach to responding to this trend by recently joining forces with a Singapore-based investment fund to create a series of tailor-made datacentres within Europe geared towards meeting the specific needs of the hyperscale community.

Read more on Datacentre capacity planning

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