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By | January 28, 2021

LF Edge Member Spotlight: Equinix Metal

The LF Edge community is comprised of a diverse set of member companies and people that represent the IoT, Enterprise, Cloud and Telco Edge. The Member Spotlight blog series highlights these members and how they are contributing to and leveraging open source edge solutions. Today, we sit down with Jacob Smith, Vice President of Bare Metal Marketing & Strategy for Equinix Metal, to discuss the their activities in open source, collaborating with industry leaders in edge computing, their leadership State of the Edge, and the impact of being a part of the LF Edge ecosystem.

Can you tell us a little about your organization?

Equinix Metal is the leading provider of globally available, automated bare metal. Formed through the acquisition of Packet by Equinix in 2020, we focus on operating foundational, interconnected infrastructure that is proximate to the world’s major networks, clouds and enterprises.

Why is your organization adopting an open-source approach?

Our vision is to help make infrastructure a competitive advantage for today’s digital leaders. Open source is a key part of that strategy, providing a clear way for us to invest in “making the tent bigger.”  In our view, the more people and companies that innovate with digital infrastructure, the better.

In addition to our participation in LF Edge (especially the State of the Edge report), Equinix Metal is a leading member (and user) of the Open19 project. Last year, we also open sourced our core bare metal provisioning technology (Tinkerbell), which was accepted into the CNCF as a sandbox project. This continues our long support of the cloud native community, including a $1M annual infrastructure donation to support the Community Infrastructure Lab.

Why did you join LF Edge and what sort of impact do you think LF Edge has on the edge, networking, and IoT industries?

We joined LF Edge at its founding due to our interest in edge computing use cases and our respect for the Linux Foundation’s ability to bring diverse stakeholders together. In addition to its leading projects, the LF Edge community invites and enables the kind of diversity in the edge ecosystem that is critical to its success.

What do you see as the top benefits of being part of the LF Edge community?

One of the most important benefits is access to a growing group of companies that are serious about the edge. Interacting at the committee level allows us to connect with leaders throughout the field who are building truly interesting technologies and solutions to solve real problems.

What sort of contributions has your team made to the community, ecosystem through LF Edge participation?

The Equinix Metal team has focused its efforts on the State of the Edge project, which was co-founded with VaporIO and contributed to the LF Edge. This has been an exciting effort, downloaded by thousands of community members annually. I am also co-chair of the State of the Edge report.

What do you think sets LF Edge apart from other industry alliances?

Strong governance helps to ensure that a variety of voices and projects can gain influence, and this is a unique strength of the open-source community.

How will LF Edge help your business?

LF Edge provides a steady touchpoint in a fast-changing ecosystem. Now that we’re part of a large company and travel is restricted; it is easy to lose touch with the pulse of the industry.  LF Edge helps to keep us in touch.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining LF Edge?

Jump in and join a committee or raise your hand to help lead an effort. This is the best way — outside of contributing code — to drive our community forward while quickly forming the relationships that matter.