Port Types

Equinix Fabric ports are available in various configurations, including standard ports, remote ports, and extended ports, depending on where customers are located in relation to the physical Equinix Fabric equipment.

Standard Ports

In a standard port configuration, the customer's port on the Equinix Fabric switch.

Remote Ports

Remote ports are delivered to a third party's demarcation in an Equinix IBX. The third party is usually a Network Service Provider (NSP).

A remote Equinix Fabric port uses this configuration:

Extended Ports

An extended port connects to Equinix Fabric through a Building Meet-Me-Room (BMMR), which is only available in multi-tenant data centers in North America and Warsaw.

Ethernet Private Line (EPL) Ports

An EPL port is an untagged port that allows a transparent flow of traffic, enabling more visibility for users because they can track the data flow. Each EPL port allows for one connection and there is no separation of traffic. Users can pass multiple VLANs across an EPL connection, but Equinix will just pass the VLANs along and not act on them.

Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL)

Equinix Fabric achieves multiple interconnections on the same physical port using VLAN-based 802.1Q (Dot1q) or 802.1ad (Q-in-Q) encapsulation.

  • IEEE 802.1Q – Also known as Dot1q, this is the industry standard network trunking protocol that supports multiple VLANs on the same physical interface, and defines how VLAN tagging is used on Ethernet frames to create logically separate networks. Customers must assign a single VLAN ID to each VC to achieve traffic separation. Although unlikely, Fabric customers can technically create up to 4094 VCs from a Dot1q port, using all available VLANs.

  • IEEE 802.1ad – Also known as Q-in-Q, VLAN Stacking, and double-tagging, this protocol is based on 802.1Q but uses two 802.1Q tags instead of one. There is an outer tag or s-tag (sometimes called the service tag or service provider tag), and an inner tag or c-tag (also called the customer tag, 802.1ad), Q-in-Q is often used by service providers to extend up to 4094 customer VLANs using just one service provider tag.

Customers can order Fabric ports with either encapsulation option to obtain point-to-multipoint capabilities over Equinix Fabric. Customers with EVPL (Dot1q or QinQ) ports can create multiple VCs from their Fabric port, segmenting traffic based on the VLAN assigned to the VC. Customers with EPL ports can only create one VC between the two ports to pass traffic, including any VLANs, transparently without traffic segmentation.

Chassis Groups

To facilitate redundant and diverse connectivity, the Equinix Fabric platform is arranged into chassis groups, with each metro having both an "A" and "B" chassis group. Within each chassis group one or more edge routers will exist.

When ports are ordered and provisioned, it's important to understand where they will be deployed to ensure they meet your needs and preferences. During the ordering process, the portal will prompt you to choose either a Primary or Secondary router to provision the port. Selecting Primary means your port will be provisioned on the A Chassis Group and choosing Secondary will provision the port on the B Chassis Group.

It is important to understand the use of Primary and Secondary does not mean services provided by Equinix on one port can or are subordinate to those on another port. Primary and secondary ports offer the same services and are only different by name and the chassis group in which they reside.

Ports can be named to include the chassis group to which they are provisioned, A or B, or any other naming convention of your choice, within the naming limitation of the platform. One such example is the use of PRI (Primary) and SEC (Secondary) to help distinguish which Equinix Fabric chassis group a port is provisioned.