Forbes Column: Equinix “Dominant Hub” for New Types of Data Centers


Equinix has become “the dominant hub” for thriving finance and advertising sectors that cluster together and engage in flash trading.

Equinix will become “the default choice” for new industries looking to imitate what’s happening in finance and advertising.

Those aren’t our words. They’re from a new column in Forbes by Dan Woods that highlights Equinix’s leading role in the growth of these two sectors, where business can rise or fall on a lost or saved millisecond.

Woods notes that physical proximity between the players in these industries matters, a lot. That’s given rise to what Woods calls “a new type of data center, one in which many companies seek to cluster together in one location so they can communicate faster.”

But he also notes that the “new” data center isn’t new to Equinix at all.

“Does Equinix have an insurmountable lead for hosting future proximity co-location hubs as more industries adopt real time computing for high value business processes?” Woods asks.

Read the whole column to find out his answer.

The occasion for Woods column is a new book called “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis.

Flash Boys focuses on “flash trading,” a controversial practice in which traders use high-speed computer technology to gauge market supply and demand ahead of other traders.

Lewis’s book looks at how a team of traders developed a defense against this practice. But Woods – editor of CITO Research – says Lewis ”gives short shrift to one of the real stars of the story: the data center and the people who run it.”

Woods credits the forces that flash traders have taken advantage of with creating what he described as the “new” type of data center. The benefit of clustering IT in physical proximity is just physics, Woods writes – when computing equipment is closer, it communicates more quickly.

That creates obvious advantages in financial trading, as well as online advertising, where companies compete to place ads in front of Internet viewers in less than the time it take for their webpage to load.

“What Equinix provides is optimized communication between all the players, between the players and public clouds, and between the players and the rest of the Internet where the requests for ads will be delivered,” Woods writes.

If all this sounds familiar to Interconnections readers it’s because Equinix has been talking for some time about our financial services ecosystem and online advertising ecosystem, Equinix Ad-IX. Equinix has other vibrant ecosystems – cloud, content and mobile are just a few. We’ve long touted the value of proximity, and the ability of our global platform to get you close to just about anyone, anywhere.

Near the end of his column, Woods says he wonders which industry will next create a real-time system that increases efficiency and brings new business. Whatever it is, it’s a decent bet Equinix is already out in front there, as well.

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