On Enterprise Cloud Exchange (ECX), aggregators are Network Service Providers (NSPs) and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) who provide multi-tenant services. Aggregators are both buyers of ECX service from Equinix and sellers of value-added services over ECX to their end customers.
The Authentication Key is a unique identifier authorizing Equinix to provision a connection towards the CSP. This Key usually contains alphanumeric characters.
Note: to Equinix, an Authentication Key is a generic term and is not encrypted on ECX. Cloud Service Providers might use a different name to refer to the same key.
For example: Azure ExpressRoute calls the authorization key the “service key” while AWS calls it the “account ID.”
A buyer is a user who connects to an available service through ECX. A buyer can be an enterprise end customer of the seller service or an aggregator, managed service provider, network service provider or system integrator company that bundles its service offerings with ECX.
Bring Your Own License (BYOL)
Bring Your Own License (BYOL) means that you’ve already procured a license from the vendor and will enter it into the ENE portal to activate the device. There are no charges associated with this license type since your licensing arrangement is directly with the vendor.
Cloud Service Provider (CSP)
A Cloud Service Provider (CSP) is a company that offers some type of cloud services to other businesses or individuals. In this context, that can include: cloud computing, cloud storage, cloud content delivery network (CDN) and more. Typical CSPs include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).
Component or Microservice
A component or microservice is a piece of an overall solution that can be built individually or as part of a larger end-to-end solution
Compute refers to the resources or assets necessary to run a device in the ENE platform. In most ways, the ENE platform is an infrastructure as a service platform underneath, but we typically do not ask customers to get involved in that aspect of the platform.
To run efficiently, each device and/or service requires some pre-determined amount of compute. Equinix has thoroughly tested each device and service with the vendor before offering it to the public. This testing ensures that the amount of compute selected on the user's behalf is already optimized to run smoothly with the vendor's recommendations.
Customers do not need to customize or tweak the compute in most cases.
Connection is a general term that refers to any solution that results in the ability to pass data from one point to another. Connections can be made with Layer 2 or Layer 3 technology, may involve several parts or components and can be created from the portal or with APIs in a variety of ways.
ECX Fabric is an advanced interconnection solution that improves performance by providing a direct, private network connection between any two parties.
End Customer, End Device or CPE
The end customer, end device or CPE refer to an entity and/or device managed by that entity that ultimately interact with the services purchased over the ECX platform.
Network Functions Virtualization is the result of turning network activities, protocols, traffic flow and design into a software service or code.
NFV takes a lot of forms from purely new network and traffic flow methods and operating systems to making an entire hardware device accessible via a GUI. At Equinix, we use the term to refer to designing and configuring network solutions using our platform and software, regardless of the device, object, component or vendor.
Network Edge is the first NFV offer in our interconnection portfolio and represents a significant leap in a customer's ability to deploy and manage network in a rapid, on-demand way.
An interface is a point on a device where data flows in and out. The virtual device is like a physical device because it has some amount of interfaces that allow it to transmit and receive data from the outside world. This can be in the form of an Internet connection, a connection to ECX, a service chain to another virtual device or any other communication.
Layer 2 (Switching)
Layer 2 connections occur when the ECX Fabric makes forwarding decisions at the Ethernet protocol (Layer 2) and does not examine the IP that’s addressing the service.
Layer 3 (Routing)
Layer 3 connections occur when the ECX Fabric makes customer traffic forwarding decisions by examining the IP addressing of that traffic.
Most virtual devices require a license from the vendor to deploy and operate the device. It will come with certain settings, such as maximum throughput and speeds, operating system, and other parameters. Individual vendors may have specific license types or terms, and users are encouraged to consult the vendor documentation to learn more about the options available.
Managed Service Provider (MSP)
A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a business entity that helps enterprises architect, build and support a technology strategy that may include ECX. Often also called system integrators, consultants or others.
An MSP may frequently aggregate customers similar to an Network Service Provider (NSP).
Network Service Provider (NSP)
A Network Service Provider (NSP) is a business entity that provides and sells services such as network access (local loop, wide area network (WAN), Internet transit) and bandwidth. NSPs are also referred to as carriers
Optional Service/Network Service
Optional service and network service refer to a series of independent features that can be added to a component, connection, device or other object. Example services might be SSH or Network Address Translation.
The service is usually defined with one or more fields to configure and prepare it for launch into production, and may have restrictions on when it can be added or deleted. Although most are optional, you may find that some complete solutions or offers will not operate properly without a specific service or series of services. Some services will also have additional associated charges.
A provider is an entity that provides a service. In our context, this includes CSPs, NSPs, MSP and aggregators.
A rate limit is a bandwidth control that is placed on a connection or service that limits the amount of traffic that can be sent or received to an amount less than the physical size of the ports. This is also referred to as a policer or “policing” a service, and is typically implemented using a VLAN on a sub-interface.
Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is another industry term sometimes interchangeable with NFV but SDN often refers to a more specific set of protocols and rules about the flow of traffic and data. SDN frequently means the separation of the flow of the data from the control and management of the network in the form of software.
A seller is a user who makes their services available to end customers through ECX. This guide refers to sellers for shorthand, but ECX generally regards a “seller” as an activity rather than a static person.
Secure Shell is a protocol that allows customers to connect to a device (that supports and has enabled SSH) directly. This allows the user to access all features of the device, including those not supported from the portal or API, and make changes, manage and observe and other activities.
Caution: if a user connects into a device directly and makes changes that are not tracked or possible from the portal or API, some functions may fall out of sync and may into work at all and Equinix cannot guarantee support and accuracy once this occurs.
The subscription license is provided by Equinix on an ongoing basis and is billed by the month. While not a pure "pay as you go" model, this is the typical license you would select if you do not already a license from the vendor or as part of a larger contract that your company has. There will be monthly charges on your invoice associated with this license.
A vendor is the company, manufacturer or owner of a specific device that can be deployed. For example, Cisco and Juniper manufacture devices that can be launched into the ENE platform. Each vendor may have one or more devices offered on ENE, and the vendor usually has a uniform licensing model and other services for their library of available devices.
The Virtual Device is the software "image" that launches on the ENE platform when a user selects a device. The device could be a router, firewall or other types.
This image is generally specific to a vendor (for example: Cisco) and specific device ID that the vendor has integrated with our platform. From this Virtual Device, you can create connections like you would from a port on ECX.
A virtual Network Function (vNF) is similar to the term NFV but typically refers to a discrete task, feature or service that does one thing in a larger solution. For example, a piece of code that can stand as a service that performs IP Address translation might be a vNF.