Equinix Stays Up and Running. Here’s How.


Recent news reports have given companies much to think about in terms of the safety of their IT infrastructures.

National Security Agency, Adm. director Michael Rogers recently warned of “a digital Pearl Harbor.” An example of this would be an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, in which, according to Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, terrorists could detonate a nuclear weapon in earth’s atmosphere, sending out a powerful current that could disable all electrical equipment for thousands of miles.

EMP is an example of an extreme catastrophic IT infrastructure failure, however, many companies are often required to manage data center outages on a smaller, but still significant, scale. The Uptime Institute 2014 Data Center Industry survey reports outages among production data centers over a 12-month period occurred in 45% of enterprises, 31% of financial service companies and 25% of colocations. And this downtime comes at a high cost ̶ according to IDC, the average annual cost of unplanned downtime runs between $1.25 and $2.5 billion.

Whether your data center resides on-premises or in a colocation center, there are ways to mitigate or prevent these outages. Here are some of strategies we deploy at Equinix to maintain our industry-leading 99.9999% uptime record and protect our more than 6,000 customers from costly downtime.


Redundancy is central to the design of all of Equinix’s more than 100 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers. For example, to ensure maximum uptime, Equinix data centers have a minimum N+1 redundancy for its power systems and all major equipment, meaning there’s at least one backup for each component. In addition, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems modulate and control power flow, and we have backup diesel generators on site with up to 48 hours of fuel.

In addition, our power distribution system has been designed with no single point of failure between primary and redundant circuits. And proprietary automated telemetric systems allow our IBC operations personnel to monitor key power system components, either on-site or remotely, for quick response times and effective support. IBX data centers also utilize N+2 redundancy for chillers and thermal energy storage.


To mitigate outages during natural disasters, every Equinix data center meets or exceeds all local and regional structural standards for floods and earthquakes. Most IBX data centers are built at elevations above sea level (without basements) and feature moisture barriers on exterior walls, moisture-detection sensors, drainage/evacuation systems and dedicated pump rooms.

Equinix builds all IBX data centers to meet or exceed local building codes for lateral seismic design forces, and we also anchor and brace all equipment and nonstructural components, including cabinets.

Safety and Security

A commitment to meeting independent quality, safety and security standards helps ensure uptime and excellent service. For instance, by complying with 9001:2008 ISO Quality Management standards, Equinix reduces the potential for downtime. Meeting ISO / IEC 27001:2005 and 27001 standards addresses site security, both electronic and physical.

Equinix also conducts regular audits at each site, including a comprehensive test of site security so our customers can feel confident their systems are safe at any Equinix data center.

Quality Operations Team

Equinix has more than 100 engineers on staff with deep subject matter expertise in all key infrastructure components. Automated logic controls provide visual representation of each data center’s building infrastructure systems, including HVAC systems, security, fire suppression, battery backup, generators and their fuel levels, and we staff our operations center all day, every day. Equinix Data Center Infrastructure Management gives our customers more transparency into operations and improves overall reliability.

Our commitment and approach to data center design engineering, operational excellence and world-class processes is why Equinix has earned a global reputation and many operational and reliability awards. It’s also why more customers trust Equinix than any other data center provider in the world.

Learn how NexusGuard relies on Equinix to help them deliver cloud-based DDoS protection worldwide.