How to Speak Like a Data Center Geek

How to Speak Like a Data Center Geek, Part 8: Inside Equinix

Jim Poole

Well, we’re back with another installment of our “How to Speak Like a Data Center Geek” series. This is sort of a public service we perform here at the Interconnections blog.

It’s an acknowledgment that we in the data center universe sometimes need to clarify the indecipherable terminology we use. And it reflects our desire to train readers to speak like they’ve been hanging around data centers their entire lives. (Which would actually be quite difficult, since security is so tight.)

This entry in our “Geek” series is our second installment on connections, which we’re really into at Equinix. In this installment, we look at some modes or places through which data center connections are made.

Meet Me Room: This may sound like a place where in-person connections are made. In fact, a meet me room (MMR) is space inside a data center where ISPs, telecommunications carriers, cable companies and other companies handling lots of digital traffic can connect to one another and exchange data. By connecting their data networks to each other within MMRs, companies can distribute high volumes of traffic at low cost and route their traffic to avoid charges incurred through the use of “local loops.” Like many charges (bank, criminal, electric), local loop charges are best avoided.

Equinix Cloud Exchange: To be fair, this particular term – with the “Equinix” in front – has only been around for the short time since which we launched the exchange. So this is sort of a preemptive entry. The Equinix Cloud Exchange is a new way for companies to make private, direct connections to the cloud. Now, these still rely on a physical cross connection, but these physical connections are segmented by our exchange technology into virtualized circuits. This means bandwidth in these circuits can be digitally divided and allocated among distinct entities. So, a managed IT provider could use an Equinix Cloud Exchange connection to provide a cloud service to multiple customers simultaneously. Alternatively, a corporate IT department could split and allocate bandwidth to connect to different cloud and IT service providers.

Media Converter: A media converter makes it possible to connect two dissimilar media types – for instance, fiber optic cabling with common copper-based cabling. Why? Well, signals carried on copper cabling have comparatively limited range before the signal becomes too weak. But using a media converter to connect to fiber optic cabling helps greatly extend that range.

POTS: This acronym stands for Plain Old Telephone Service, as in the traditional analog signal-based telephone service that was dominant before digital telephone service was introduced. POTS, like lower-case pots from Revere cookware, uses a lot of copper and is still quite common in places around the world. POTS shaped many of the interconnection practices we see among digital networks today. And it gave us a funny acronym.

Well, we’ll end the post here, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t add that data center geeks have a thing for interconnection, since it’s essential for the enterprise to compete. Download Equinix’s IOA Playbook, which describes an interconnection-first architecture that securely connects people, locations, clouds and data.

And check out every post in the “Speak Like a Data Center Geek” series. (Please note: We welcome binge readers):

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Power I

Part 3: Connections I

Part 4: Cloud

Part 5: Buildings

Part 6: The stuff we sell

Part 7: Security and reliability

Part 8: Connections II (see post above)

Part 9: Sustainability

Part 10: Networks

Part 11: Power II

Part 12: Internet of Things

Part 13: Big Data

Part 14: Sustainability

Part 15: Virtual Reality

Part 16: Software Containers

Part 17: Artificial Intelligence