Cloud, Colocation, and Collaboration: Equinix Metal & Big Network

Tom Daly
April 17, 2023
Discover how Big Network and Equinix Metal harmonize cloud, metal, colocation, and on-premise networks. Learn about our innovative solution that simplifies connectivity, reduces complexity, and enhances security across mixed hosting environments.

Harmonize Cloud, Metal, Colocation, and On-Premise Networks with Equinix Metal and Big Network

We are beyond excited to show our blog readers the ubiquity of Cloud Networks! Our friends at Equinix Metal (a special thanks to Zac Smith) recently caught wind of our work at Big Network and started asking a few really good questions. We had the privilege of learning about Equinix Metal, and conversely, the Equinix Metal Team learned about Cloud Networks, Edge Pro, and Edge Virtual. Collectively, we decided it was time to cook up a new Cloud Networking paradigm.

During our discussion with the Equinix Metal team, one thing was loud and clear: customers need an easy, flexible way to extend their VMware ESXi networking fabrics across a variety of environments. VMware ESXi provides extensive flexibility in networking as long as your VMware environment is at a single datacenter. When you want to extend your network across multiple locations, things get a bit more complicated and often require the complexity of BGP routing, VXLAN tunneling, and/or the horror of IPSEC.

In the world of hybrid infrastructure, the common denominator becomes the network - from premise to datacenter to cloud. Given these different worlds, how can engineering and development teams harmonize networking? In the case of VMware ESXI, how can the network be deployed in a common fashion across datacenter and Equinix Metal to simplify operations while extending reach across traditional Internet / network boundaries?

Knowing the ability of Cloud Networks, Edge Pro, and Edge Virtual, we built this:

ability of Cloud Networks, Edge Pro, and Edge Virtual

Voila! VMware ESXi is deployed in multiple physical locations, purely connected by standard Internet connections, and fully connected as a homogeneous VMware ESXi cluster.* Enjoy the ubiquity of managing VMware ESXi hosts through a common pane of glass as one network and one cluster!

Big Network wants to make this as easy as possible: deploy Edge Virtual in Equinix Metal as a VMware ESXi VLAN gateway, and conversely, deploy Edge Pro on-premise next to your existing VMware ESXi infrastructure. Since Cloud Networks are fully Ethernet compatible, you can carry VLAN tags from one location to another without complex setup. So, you can configure your vSwitches as you always have.

If you want to learn more about this solution, Big Network, or Equinix Metal, check out some of our additional resources below:

*Big Network does not suggest extending storage-related networking fabrics such as NFS or iSCSI via the Internet.

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