Zac Smith of Packet recently introduced me to an entire market I hadn’t realized existed: the massive “private clouds” being built by company after company. I had assumed most cloud needs would be well served by the giants, Amazon, Google, … They have the scale to keep prices low and tens of thousands of engineers ensuring their technology is better than almost everyone else.
Packet is doing very well and has strong products and a growing customer base. Equinix, a $50 billion company, presumably paid a generous price. Equinix’s P/E ratio of ~100 requires rapid and profitable growth. Packet can deliver that, initially by serving Equinix’s existing customer base.
Packet can deploy private networks for Equinix clients in weeks across a dozen data centers worldwide. Perhaps more interesting is Packet’s ability to extend Equinix from the data center to inside carrier networks, towers, and ultimately customer sites. All of that is part of today’s Edge design, also called a hybrid cloud. Packet is already there.
Zac is selling “bare metal servers” in large numbers to companies that had particular needs or security concerns the big outfits couldn’t meet. Call Packet, and in days or weeks you can have 100’s of Linux servers installed almost anywhere in the developed world, ready to go and well configured with software.
Add your application and you are up and running. Kubernetes and other tools have made application management much easier than in my day. Major applications are not quite something you can learn in a three-week class, but most businessmen who can conceive of a profitable app could learn to deploy it.
January 14, 2020
Equinix to Acquire Bare Metal Leader Packet
Acquisition to Accelerate Equinix Strategy to Help Enterprises Seamlessly Deploy Hybrid Multicloud Infrastructures
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Jan. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), the global interconnection and data center company, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Packet, the leading bare metal automation platform. The acquisition will accelerate Equinix’s strategy to help enterprises more seamlessly deploy hybrid multicloud architectures on Platform Equinix® and extract greater value from the platform’s rich ecosystems and global interconnection fabric. By leveraging bare metal services at Equinix to deploy digital infrastructure on demand, customers will be better equipped to reach everywhere, interconnect everyone and integrate everything that matters to their business.
Equinix intends to leverage the Packet offering to accelerate the development and delivery of its interconnected edge services. By combining Packet’s innovative and developer-oriented bare metal service offering with Equinix’s interconnection capabilities and organic bare metal efforts, Equinix intends to create a world class, enterprise-grade bare metal offering across Platform Equinix that allows customers to rapidly deploy digital infrastructure, within minutes, at global scale.
Equinix anticipates the Packet acquisition to close during the first quarter of fiscal year 2020.
- With the pace of digital transformation creating a seismic shift in the enterprise today, businesses are embracing hybrid multicloud and edge architectures as the modern digital infrastructure of choice.
- Platform Equinix isa dynamic data center and interconnection platform essential for any enterprise deploying hybrid multicloud at the edge. With a global footprint of more than 200 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers, Platform Equinix contains the highest share of the world’s public cloud on-ramps and the most physically and virtually interconnected ecosystems in the world.
- Bare metal is a key foundational element allowing customers to deploy distributed, hybrid multicloud infrastructure on demand. A proven leader in bare metal automation, Packet’s proprietary technology automates physical servers and networks without the use of virtualization or multitenancy.
- By acquiring Packet, Equinix will add important new on-demand deployment alternatives that meet the market’s full range of use cases. 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 utilizing the combined offering, which leverages as-a-service consumption to reduce CAPEX and resource requirements.
- Packet’s developer-friendly product, expert talent pool, vibrant ecosystem of management-layer software providers and customer base using the product for live workloads today, will also add important new skills and assets to Equinix’s own product development and management capabilities.
- Equinix expects to disclose additional details of the deal upon completion of the acquisition.
- According to Gartner, “Enterprises are evolving to become digital businesses, and edge computing will be a necessary enabler. Digital business is about the creation of new business designs by blurring the digital and physical worlds, creating new business moments and value through dynamic and transient interactions between people, businesses and things. Cloud computing has enabled scale, innovation, connection and agility at the back end, but edge computing will complement cloud computing by providing more real-time value, more immersive interactions, more data production and more intelligence at the front end — closer to where people and things exist.”i
- Kevin Ichhpurani, Corporate Vice President, Global Ecosystem, Google Cloud
“We believe in customer choice and strongly support customers selecting the right computing environment that meet their enterprise needs. The addition of Packet bare metal will enable Equinix to deliver even more customer choice, accelerating their digital transformations while connecting workloads seamlessly from on-prem to cloud using technologies such as Google Anthos.”
- Dan Kohn, Executive Director, Cloud Native Computing Foundation
“Packet has been a critical supporter of CNCF since the very early days, long before the projects we host – including Kubernetes – had become the industry standard. They have contributed substantial free server resources over the last two years to CNCF’s Community Infrastructure Lab, which has been used to meaningfully increase development velocity for both CNCF-hosted projects and also other cloud native, open source projects. At KubeCon + CloudNativeCon San Diego in November 2019, Equinix joined CNCF as a gold member to demonstrate their support for the adoption of the cloud native technologies.”
- Susan Nash, Senior Vice President, Strategic Alliances, VMware
“To successfully achieve digital transformation, organizations must focus on delivering availability, performance, security and reliability to a massive set of applications while operating in a cost-effective and scalable manner. The best way to achieve this is through a comprehensive hybrid cloud strategy. Equinix and VMware have partnered for nearly a decade to enable hybrid cloud infrastructures, helping Global 2000 enterprises address the increasing volume and complexity of application workloads and data. The continued expansion of Platform Equinix will further enable our mutual customers to easily and more securely power their applications from the edge to the cloud.”
- Zachary Smith, CEO, Packet
“We started Packet in 2014 with a vision to redefine the next wave of cloud with a focus on the distribution and automation of fundamental infrastructure. This dovetails perfectly with Equinix’s strategy for helping enterprises implement new digital architectures in a growing number of edge locations. The incorporation of Packet into Equinix will accelerate the delivery of enhanced edge services to Equinix’s growing customer base, while continuing to serve the developer community that has come to rely on Packet’s unique offering.”
- Sara Baack, Chief Product Officer, Equinix
“By acquiring Packet we are making it easier for enterprises to seamlessly deploy multicloud solutions at Equinix and extract greater value from our rich ecosystems and global interconnection platform. 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. 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.”