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Using Equinix Fabric

Equinix Fabricâ„¢ is a software-defined interconnection service that enables any business to connect between its own distributed infrastructure and any other businesses' infrastructure that is on Platform Equinix, including the world's largest network service and cloud providers.

You can connect Equinix Metal to Equinix Fabric in two ways:

The first is through a shared port, where Equinix Metal is the owner and manager of the physical Equinix Fabric port that handles the traffic. Use this option if:

  • You want to connect Equinix Metal to a 3rd party public cloud (e.g. AWS or GCP) other service provider on Equinix Fabric.
  • You want to connect Equinix Metal to your own existing Equinix Fabric infrastructure.
  • Your connectivity requirements do not exceed 10 Gbps.

The second is through a dedicated port, where you are the owner and manager of the physical Equinix Fabric port that handles the traffic. Use this option if:

  • You want to be Cloud Service Provider on Equinix Fabric so that other Equinix customers can make connections to your hosted service on Equinix Metal.
  • Your connectivity requirements exceed 10 Gbps.

Both shared ports and dedicated ports support up to a 9000 byte maximum transmission unit (MTU) and jumbo Ethernet frames.

Prerequisites

Availability

Equinix Fabric connections are available in the following IBX Locations: AM6, NY5, DC13, SV15.

Equinix Fabric Account and Resources

In order to use Equinix Fabric, you will need an Equinix Fabric account separate from your Equinix Metal account. If you do not already have an account, you can follow the set up on the New User Equinix Fabric Portal Access page from the Equinix docs. There is also a video walk through available.

The Equinix Fabric portal is also where you manage the Equinix Fabric resources that connect to Equinix Metal, but which resources you have or create is largely dependent on your use-case. More information on device and resources is on the Equinix Fabric Ports or Network Edge Devices pages.

Billing

Charges for Equinix Fabric will be billed to your Equinix Fabric account, separate from your Equinix Metal bill.

Requesting a Connection

To request a connection in the Equinix Metal portal, open the Connections page from the IPs & Networks tab. If you do not have any connections set up, you should see a landing page. If any projects in your organization already have connections or any open connection requests, you will see a list of those connections on the Connections tab, and a list of requests on the Connection Requests tab.

Click + Request New Connection.

Connection Options

  • Select the IBX Location for the new connection from the drop-down.
  • Give a name to your connection.
  • Choose whether you want a redundant connection. If you choose a redundant connection, you get a primary and secondary port to attach two VLANs to, giving you some amount of high availability.

New Connection Request page.

  • The last step is to choose whether you are going to request a shared port or if need to have a dedicated port. The option you choose depends heavily on your use-case.

Setting Up a Shared Port

Setting up a shared port has two components:

  • Completing the request in the Equinix Metal console, and
  • Setting up the connection in Equinix Fabric.

In the Equinix Metal console

If you leave the Dedicated Port box unchecked, then you are requesting a shared port.

Click Submit Connection Request to complete the request and submit it to the Equinix Metal support team. Submitting the request also generates an Fabric Token, which is required to continue the setup process in the Equinix Fabric Portal.

The request moves to the Connection Requests tab with the status of Pending. The token can be accessed by clicking Manage Request, which is also where you can cancel the request, if needed. The token is also emailed to you.

In the Equinix Fabric Portal

Step 1. Login to the Equinix Fabric portal.

Step 2. From the Dashboard, you are going to create a connection. From the I want to connect to: options, select A Service Provider. Search for or select Equinix Metal and click Create Connection.

Step 3. From the Select Locations page, you will specify the origin and destination, the origin being the infrastructure that you are connecting to Equinix Metal and the destination being the location where your Equinix Metal infrastructure lives.

Selecting the Equinix Fabric connections origin and destination.

Note: Your origin options are filtered by by Port or Virtual Device and the location where the port or device lives. You will be choosing from Equinix Fabric ports or Network Edge devices that are already provisioned on your Equinix Fabric account, and which you choose depends on what you are connecting from. For example, of you are setting up a connection from another Cloud Service Provider, you would choose the Virtual Device that you have set up for that purpose. If you connecting from your own colocation cabinet or equipment that already has an Equinix Fabric port set up on it, then you would choose that port.

Step 4. From the Connection Details page, fill out the Connection Information, including giving your connection a name and VLAN ID.

Step 5. Take the Fabric Token that was generated during the Equinix Metal Portal configuration process, and paste it into the ECX Token field. Lastly, choose the connection speed for your connection.

Filling out the Connection Details.

Step 6. Click Next to review and confirm your choices. The final review screen will provide your full connection details, and if you need to, you can go back and correct any errors. When everything is correct, click Submit your Order.

Once your Equinix Fabric order is submitted, it is verified and filled within a business day, usually sooner.

When everything is complete on the Equinix Fabric side, your request will move to the Connections tab, and have "Waiting on Customer VLAN" as its status. When the request has reached this phase, you can finish the set up with the instructions in the Finalizing the Connections and Adding a VLAN section.

Setting Up a Dedicated Port

Setting up a Dedicated Port has three components:

  • Completing the request in the Equinix Metal console.
  • Signing and returning a Letter of Authority (LOA).
  • Ordering a remote port in the Equinix Fabric portal.

In the Equinix Metal Console

If you check the box next to Dedicated Port, click Submit Connection Request to complete the request and submit it to the Equinix Metal support team. When support starts processing your request, it will appear on the Connection Requests tab with a status of "Pending".

Support will work behind the scenes to set up the necessary ports for you and send a Letter of Authorization (LOA) to your email address. You must sign and return the LOA to us.

In the Equinix Fabric Portal

Step 1. After you have completed the LOA and returned it to us, you can place an order for your remote port in the Equinix Fabric Portal.

Step 2. When you go to order your remote port, use the I want to connect via a third party who has a cage n Equinix IBX option. The "third party" option in this scenario is the Equinix Metal network-to-network interface (NNI) location.

Step 3. Select the Location of the remote port. The location you select must be the IBX site specified in your LOA. Please note that the patch panel location for the NNI port specified in the LOA might be on a different IBX than your Equinix Metal instance.

Step 4. Next, choose the connection speed, review the pricing information, and accept the Terms and Conditions. When everything looks right, submit your order.

Once your request has been processed, you will be notified from by the Equinix team that your remote port is active. (You can also check its status in the Equinix Fabric portal). On the Equinix Metal side, the request will move to the Connections tab, and have "Waiting on Customer VLAN" as its status. When the request has reached this phase, you can finish the set up with the instructions in the Finalizing the Connections and Adding a VLAN section.

If you are interested in a deep-dive on the LOA and remote ports, check out Connecting Virtual and Physical Environments from the Equinix docs.

Finalizing the Connections and Adding a VLAN

Whether you choose a shared port or a dedicated port, the final step is to attach a VLAN to your connection.

Associating a VLAN with a Shared Port

If you choose a shared port, then you are automatically assigned a single virtual circuit to attach a VLAN to.

If you haven't already, create VLAN in the same location as the connection. Click Primary Port, and under Virtual Circuits, click Manage to associate the VLAN to the primary port.

Associating a VLAN to a Virtual Circuit

If you choose to provision with a redundant connection, create another VLAN, click Secondary Port and follow the same steps to associate the VLAN with the secondary port.

Associating a VLAN with a Dedicated Port

If you choose a dedicated port, then you are able to add multiple virtual circuits to attach multiple VLANs to.

For each virtual circuit, create VLAN in the same location as the connection, if you haven't already. Click Primary Port, and then click Create Virtual Circuit. Select the VLAN to associate with the virtual circuit and enter a number between 2 - 4094 in the NNI VLAN field. Each virtual circuit needs to have a unique NNI VLAN number.

Creating a Virtual Circuit and Associating a VLAN

If you choose to provision with a redundant connection, create another VLAN, click Secondary Port, and follow the same steps to create a virtual circuit and associate the VLAN with the secondary port.