There’s More to Data Centers Than Fancy Equipment and Security. Much More.

By Jarrett Appleby

We love it when a mainstream media outlet looks under the hood of technology to provide a general audience with a peek at how we manage to keep the billions and billions of bits of data flowing around the world. So we were excited to see USA Today’s recent article on ultra-fancy, ultra secure data centers.

Yet, the “carrier hotels” described in the article are really only a part of the story-what happens within data centers is much more fascinating!

Most people may not realize this, but data centers today underpin the digital economy, not only by storing and backing up data, which is what many data centers are used for, but also for connecting and exchanging data in new ways to do things that many of us now take for granted (such as watching video online or social networking).

There are certain things that, for the most part, all data centers have in common, no matter what their mission: sophisticated power and cooling technology, massive generators, cages full of servers and storage and network equipment, etc.

Technician at work inside an Equinix IBX data center

This is true for many companies such as Facebook and Microsoft that build their own private data centers to house gazillions of servers. (By the way, these companies also host mission-critical apps with us.)

In fact, anyone with enough money can build a big, cool (literally) and secure “hotel.” The real differentiator, however, and the real value creation come from who’s staying there and how they interact with each other!

A sight rarely seen. An inside view of an Equinix data center.

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Who’s Staying Inside Equinix Data Centers?

Thousands of companies, including many of the largest and most valuable companies in the world connect directly with their partners, suppliers and customers to speed the exchange of traffic and conduct business.

Companies come to us not only because we have some of the most secure and coolest data centers in the business, but because their customers and partners are also on Platform Equinix.

Having direct access to your customers and partners is a huge competitive advantage.

Here are just a few of our favorite facts about what you’ll find inside Equinix:

  • More than 4,000 companies
  • More than 700 cloud and IT providers, 675 networks, 600 financial services firms, and 450 content and digital media services companies
  • The top five social networking sites, five of the world’s largest mobile network operators, and four of the top five smartphone platforms
  • The broadest data center footprint with 98 sites across 38 markets and 5 continents

Think about the financial services industry-say, a trading company-where transactions are measured in microseconds and the ability to connect and shave off even a little time can translate into millions of dollars. That’s what our ecosystem enables. Billions of dollars of truly differentiated commerce is being conducted inside Equinix data centers right now.

Looking for the best kept secret in the data center industry? It isn’t the $100 million building, but the magic taking place inside it. And it won’t be secret for much longer.

On October 17, we’re unveiling…well, if I tell you now, it won’t be much of an unveiling, so stay tuned for future blog posts. (UPDATE: this announcement has been postponed until next week, October 24).

We’re about to make the data center even cooler and a lot more valuable.