Digital Realty has launched a connectivity orchestration platform to make it easier for customers to pull together corporate networks across diverse infrastructures.
ServiceFabric Connect is described as an open “fabric-of-fabrics” making things easier for customers putting together hybrid architectures. It’s available in 61 sites across 32 metro markets in North America, Europe, and Asia, and will be expanded to more in future.
The announcement comes alongside while other operators such as Equinix are also making efforts to provide easier point-and-click service options, based around network automation.
Digital Realty’s effort is part of a grand scheme under the brand ServiceFabric, which follows a manifesto published in 2021. The main idea behind this is to enable better connected, data-oriented businesses, by overcoming what Digital calls “data gravity,” the tendency for useful data to get stuck in silos where it can’t be used effectively.
Digital says the answer has to be a “collaborative” roadmap involving multiple partners, to avoid the proprietary approaches which led to those data silos. The giant colocation data center REIT, therefore, promises “the industry’s largest open fabric-of-fabrics connecting centers of data.”
ServiceFabric Connect, the first part of the long-term plan, was developed in-house by Digital Realty, but pulls together network and cloud connectivity services from multiple sources, including Digital partners, so in theory, there shouldn’t be too much plumbing for the network builder to do, to achieve end-to-end services for customers.
The idea dates back to 2016, when Digital, having recently bought the more network-oriented colo provider Telx announced Service Exchange, a network services play to compete against Equinix’s existing offerings in the space.
That offering leaned heavily on a deal with multi-cloud connectivity provider Megaport, a partner that is still on board with the current evolution of the DR network project, according to the press release quotes.
“Since the launch of our strategic partnership in 2016, we have been proud to support Digital Realty with on-demand cloud connectivity that aligns with our shared vision of empowering businesses with rapid and secure interconnection on a global scale,” says a statement from Vincent English, CEO of Megaport. “We are excited to support the evolution of Digital Realty’s interconnection services with the announcement of ServiceFabric Connect. Being the first integrated ecosystem partner of ServiceFabric Connect, we are fully committed to continue innovating with Digital Realty to provide customers with a frictionless on-demand interconnection experience.”
Network provider Zayo is also on board, with CEO Steve Smith commenting: “Last July, we announced Zayo’s role in helping power Digital Realty’s next-generation product, PlatformDIGITAL®. and today we are taking yet another big step together with the introduction of ServiceFabric Connect, bringing global, secure interconnection to market. We look forward to our continued partnership with Digital Realty and our combined efforts to enable customers to securely accelerate their digital transformation and global expansion.”
From Digital Realty, CTO Chris Sharp emphasized that added more promises to combat the dread menace of data gravity: “Today, we’re demonstrating significant progress against our industry manifesto and reiterating the need to remove legacy barriers in the interconnection industry and address Data Gravity. We will be an industry steward championing this shift and, together, we can tackle Data Gravity head-on and build a new era of open, secure and dynamic connected data communities globally.”