Equinix buys bare metal data center company Packet

The co-location and interconnection behemoth Equinix is buying the bare metal data center company Packet. The parties expect the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2020. Equinix says it will disclose some details of the deal upon completion of the acquisition.

Equinix claims Packet’s bare metal technology will complement its existing data center offerings and accelerate its ability to help enterprises deploy hybrid multi-cloud architectures. It’s especially interested in Packet’s technology for the delivery of edge services.

Packet, which was founded in 2014, has made a name for itself by creating data center infrastructure that uses white box hardware and its own orchestration and management software, which automates physical servers and networks.

In an interview with FierceTelecom, Packet CEO Zach Smith said that the huge public clouds such as AWS, Google, and Microsoft do a good job of providing cloud infrastructure for a lot of enterprises. But Packet targets thousands of enterprises whose businesses are heavily tech-focused, and who need to create their own cloud infrastructure. “We want to be able to provide them a shared, automated physical infrastructure wherever it happens to be,” said Smith. “We provide and automate infrastructure at the lowest level possible no matter what software runs on top of it."

Packet uses bare metal servers, which is synonymous with white box servers or common-off-the-shelf servers. “It’s some sort of computer with no verticalized software on it,” said Smith. “We make the orchestration and automation software to be able to handle hundreds of thousands of physical compute servers. We do over 100,000 bare metal compute deployments every month.”

RELATED: Packet serves up virtual interconnects with Microsoft Azure

For its part, Equinix employs more than 8,000 people, spanning dozens of countries. Its Platform Equinix footprint touches more than 200 data centers in 55 markets and 1,800 networks. 

“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,” stated Equinix.