New Kill Bill Billing Engine Live
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As you may have read in this recent blog post by Pierre-Alexandre Meyer, we're hard at work building a next-generation billing platform to power Equinix Metal.
Billing systems aren't the reason you choose an infrastructure provider, but they form the basis of the entire commercial experience, especially in usage-based models. With full credit to Twilio's CEO Jeff Lawson, that's why you "build" instead of "buy" and why we've invested in Kill Bill (an open source project whose maintainers work at Equinix) to help us get there.
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What's it mean to you?
Starting with the October billing run we've moved a portion of our customers to this new system, with the final transition in early 2022. If you're on the new system here's what you can expect;
  • Instead of receiving multiple invoices (one for each of your projects) listing all individual line items, you will receive one simplified, consolidated invoice.
  • This new invoice will present your services based on their subscription type (Usage, Committed, and One-Time fees).
To support the next stage of our growth, we've also introduced a more powerful "Billing Account" structure under the hood (more on that in the near future). We'll expose this once our transition is complete to help make managing your subscriptions and analyzing monthly billing easier and more powerful.
Any questions? Please reach out and we'll be happy to assist!
São Paulo Metro Live!
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It is with great pleasure that we can (finally!) pull the wraps off our São Paulo metro, our 18th since last summer, and our 13th new metro this calendar year.
Our operations team deserves
so much
credit for conquering a variety of challenges, not the least of which was the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which has hit our friends and family in Brazil quite hard. We even wrote down some lessons learned along the way.
With the SP Metro live, you can now deploy both m3.large and c3.medium on-demand (with s3.xlarge coming in soon). Everything, of course, is also available via reservation.
One thing to note is that, like other clouds, we have higher costs in Brazil than in places like the US or Europe. You'll notice that on-demand pricing is 50% higher than our baseline.
Any questions? Want to go with us to Brazil? Reach out and let's have a chat!
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Metal Gateway
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Want to simplify network connectivity for subnet traffic on Metal? Our new “Metal Gateway” feature automatically provisions a Metro-wide gateway for servers deployed from a new or unused Public or Private IPv4 subnet (/25 to /29) block. Magic!
Take a look at the docs to get up to speed.
Also, this feels like the right picture, doesn't it?
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New "Dedicated Tunnel" Networking Mode
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This feature is targeted at those of you with large non-Metal environments.
Let’s say you have a few hundred VLANs on the other side. With Dedicated Tunnel Mode, instead of configuring each of those in our portal, you can set up a single “dedicated tunnel”, tag the VLANs, and et voila - you’re in business. In other words, you can leverage a dedicated port as an 802.1q tunnel. Also known as QinQ!
Interested? Check out the docs for all the details.
Also, there are so many cool tunnel pictures on Unsplash.
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Update Alert: Cloud Provider for Equinix Metal
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Howdy folks —
It's been a few months since we cut a release for one of our favorite Kubernetes tools: the one and only Cloud Provider for Equinix Metal (or the artist formerly known as Cloud Controller Manager)! As you'll see from the list below, we've crammed some good stuff into the latest version.
puppies
  • Bugfixes, because, ya know.
  • Permission fixes
  • More annotations on kubernetes nodes for private network ranges
  • Load balancer selector configuration renamed
  • Enhanced BGP peer documentation
  • Helm chart enhancements and fixes
  • Ability to use existing services for control plane Elastic IP port and healthcheck port
A tasty bunch of integration updates
improved
We've been cooking up some tasty improvements to our CLI, SDKs, and integrations. Grab a plate and load up at the buffet! :-)
berry
packet-cli
v0.5.0
This version adds a new
packet env
command for copying your configured API token into your shell environment. Release notes.
packet-python
v1.44.0
Introduces Metros to the client. Metros can be used instead of facilities when creating devices, IP addresses, and VLANs. This release also fixes a bug in handling new resources that are assigned to metros but do not include facility details. Release notes.
packngo
v0.15.0
We've added features for getting the bandwidth from your instances, determining spot market prices, and understanding ports from virtual circuits. A noteworthy bug fix corrects the pagination of hardware reservations. Release notes.
docker-machine-driver-metal
v0.5.0
This release adds support for metros and updates the default location, OS, and plan so that all Equinix Metal users can take advantage of the defaults. The termination time for instances was not being honored previously, so we've fixed it. You can specify it in relative terms like
--metal-termination-time="60 minutes"
. This server will self-destruct (but not really). Release notes.
terraform-provider-metal
v2.1.0
Our latest Terraform release deprecates
metal_volume
resources alongside the end of life of our Block Storage service on June 1, 2021. Users have been notified directly about this (more details).
  • On the topic of deprecations, if you received a warning about facilities being deprecated, fear not. This was a bug that we've corrected!
  • v2.1.0 also brings a number of new features including data sources with support for VLANs, IP reservations, ports, and hardware reservations.
  • Finally, resources have been added to bring support for Equinix Metal-Fabric Connections and Virtual Circuits. Release notes.
Introducing Self-Service Reservations
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Today we’re excited to announce the launch of a new Self-Service Reservations feature. While the name is pretty obvious, here's what this means for you!
  • You can now order reserved hardware via our portal.
  • You can order hardware in any of our metros.
  • Reservations are available on 1 and 3-year terms for our Gen3 configs.
  • Standard discounts are visible in the portal and docs — no need to wait for a quote!
Once you submit a request our team will review & deliver your order, then drop you a note to confirm that it is ready to be provisioned. You can also follow along via our new Reserved instances page. For more information, check out our technical docs.
self-service-reservations
Our goal with this feature is to give you more autonomy as you lock in discounted rates for committed hardware. We've got plenty of ideas already in the roadmap for this feature, so be sure to let us know your feedback!
Sydney is Live for On Demand Metal
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It's always a good day to open a new Equinix Metal metro...or as they say in Australia a G'day! No matter how you call it, today we're live in Sydney for both on-demand and reserved metal.
Sydney is the 7th core metro that we've launched since October, joining Singapore in Asia as well as Silicon Valley, Dallas, Washington DC, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt globally.
(Don't forget, you can also deploy reserved infrastructure in non-core metros: Seoul, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Toronto, London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Madrid).
Most folks know that Equinix's Sydney campus is the most interconnected in Australia and an increasingly important hub for all of Asia. But did you know that SY4 (our Sydney IBX home) is LEED Silver certified? It's also a fine-looking building:
sy4
New Metros Feature Live
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Equinix Metal deploys infrastructure across nearly 20 regions, such as New York, Amsterdam, Silicon Valley, and Frankfurt. At Equinix, we call each of those a "metro."
Within each metro, we may utilize just one physical data center, but increasingly we're deployed across a number of facilities. A great example is New York, where we have a legacy facility in Parsippany NJ (EWR), a deployment in Equinix NY5, and soon another expansion in Equinix NY7.
Introducing Metros
In order to help users consume more easily, we've been hard at work on a number of adjustments that launched today. Here are the highlights, and there are some detailed FAQ's below and in our documentation.
  1. New deploys through our portal will feature a metro name (e.g. Silicon Valley) instead of a data center name (e.g. SJC1 or SV15).
  2. Our system will choose which data center to deploy your server into based upon capacity and other factors. In metros with both legacy and new Equinix facilities, we will generally preference our shiny, new, Equinix facilities.
  3. Everything you would expect (BGP, backend transfer, Elastic IPs) will work across facilities within a metro. Magic!
  4. There are no bandwidth charges between facilities within a metro.
  5. Existing VLANs will need to be recreated to span across facilities in a metro, but new ones will work by default.
  6. We have a new "metros" endpoint in our API. Over time you'll want to use this instead of the "facilities" endpoint. However, there are no plans to deprecate this endpoint so you don't have to change anything you do today.
  7. We'll release a new version of our Terraform provider shortly, but you'll need to pay close attention to this upgrade if you have existing infrastructure. We'll include full details in the release notes, and are happy to chat with you about it.
In short, metros is a big change to our backend systems, but for users, it should work something like this:
giphy-downsized
Let's See the FAQ's!
What is a Metro?
A Metro is an Equinix-wide concept for data centers that are grouped together geographically. At Equinix Metal, data centers within a metro now share capacity and networking features.
What is new or different about Metros?
The biggest difference is that servers are provisioned at the Metro level and not the Facility level. When you provision a server you select the Metro where you want your server to live. Our API will then determine which specific facility within the Metro your server physically resides (based on capacity and other factors).
Metro-based provisioning is supported through all the deployment options: On-Demand, Spot Market, Reserved Hardware, and Batch Deployments.
What if I really need a server in a specific facility?
If your use case requires servers in a specific facility, you can use the "facilities" endpoint in our API. The API remains backward compatible and you can also continue to use any automation integrations.
You can also contact us with details about your deployment or application needs and we can assist you, probably with the help of a Hardware Reservation.
What other features do Metros have?
The facilities within each Metro are interconnected by high-speed links with an average latency of 5 milliseconds or less. There is no billing for traffic between facilities within a Metro. Additionally, many of our Networking features are designed to take advantage of this:
  • VLANs - When you provision a VLAN in a Metro, all servers in that Metro are able to connect to it.
  • Elastic Public IPv4 Addresses - When you request an Elastic Public IPv4 address, you will be able to assign it to any server in the Metro where you requested it.
  • Private IPv4 Addresses - While the blocks of private IPv4 addresses are facility-based, all the servers within a project in the same Metro can use them to connect to each other.
  • Backend Transfer and Local BGP will work across facilities in a Metro.
I already have existing servers and VLANs. Will these continue to work?
Existing VLANs will continue to work, but traffic will be limited to servers within a single facility. To enable traffic between servers across all facilities in a Metro, you will need to create new Metro-level VLANs and add any servers to the new VLANs.
What is the impact if I’m a Terraform user?
Our 2.0.0 Terraform provider will expose the new metro concept, which is also available via the /metros endpoint in our API. You can continue using Terraform to manage your existing devices in the facilities model and begin to manage new deployments with the newer Metro model. For a detailed changelog, please follow our discussion on GitHub.
Is the Metros concept the same as Availability Zones in AWS, Azure or GCP?
Equinix Metal does not provide a public cloud-style high availability construct, and our Metros feature is not intended to provide this. If you are looking for high availability or disaster recovery at the regional level, we recommend deploying across distinct metros. Diversity within a metro can often be achieved through Hardware Reservations. Please contact our team for options!
Frankfurt Metro is Live
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Of all the "football cities" of the internet, Frankfurt may just be the most under-rated. What with Amsterdam a few hundred miles up and to the left.
But honestly, y'all, Germany is amazing and Equinix's Frankfurt campus is at the center of it — at least when it comes to interconnection! That's why today we're super stoked to open our latest core metro in the land of beer and late-night doner-kebab.
With FR2 online, you can deploy our latest Gen3 configurations on-demand in minutes and interconnect with all of the important networks, cloud providers, and enterprises in Germany.
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