It’s been just three months since Equinix more than doubled our size in Japan by acquiring Japanese data center provider Bit-isle and its six facilities, but we’ve got more growth in Japan to talk about: We’ve opened another new data center in Tokyo, a city ranked No. 5 in the Global Financial Centres Index.
Our new, standalone TY5 facility was purpose-built from the ground up to meet regional interconnection and colocation needs in a Japanese data center market that Forrester predicted would exceed $14.2 billion by the end of the year. Demand for cloud and network services is heavy in Japan, and TY5 also adds capacity to our booming financial trading ecosystem in Tokyo. We talked with Kei Furuta, the managing director of Equinix North Asia, about where TY5 fits into our Tokyo campus, and what its opening says about Equinix’s future in Japan.
How does TY5 meet specific demands in the Tokyo market?
In a practical sense, it will definitely serve our cloud and digital content customers. But the major reason we built TY5 in that location is that it’s about 100 meters away from our TY3 facility, so it provides a natural extension of the major financial trading ecosystem at TY3. Most participants in the regional foreign exchange (FX) market are inside TY3 – matching engines (systems which match up bids and offers), traders and financial information services. As we approached capacity at TY3, we planned to expand close by because the traders naturally want to have their systems in proximity to the matching engines. The level of sensitivity some customers require is so acute that they even care about the distance between cabinets – rather than having 20 meters, they want 10. So the proximity is critical. And we ran 1,000 strands of dark fiber between TY3 and TY5, so it’s almost like they’re the same facility.
TY5 is Equinix’s first purpose-built data center in Tokyo. Why does that matter for customers?
A new data center like ours has a big advantage over some older facilities in Tokyo operated by other providers. Some of those were built 30 to 40 years ago and were originally designed for a general IT system, so those designs are largely outdated. First, they weren’t built with the assumption that the data center would be heavily networked, and their power density is also pretty low. A modern facility like TY5 is going to have adequate power capacity and the ability to bring in a sizable number of networks. We have a big meet-me-room, we have the capability to have a lot of interconnections, and our data centers have the ability to create redundant network routes. Older data centers in Tokyo were not designed to keep pace with the explosive growth of data traffic.
How does the addition of TY5, combined with the Bit-isle acquisition, affect Equinix’s profile in Japan?
All 10 Equinix Tokyo sites are connected by Metro Connect (Equinix also has two data centers in Osaka), so I believe our customers will start to see us as one big data center campus in Tokyo that can really meet all of their interconnection needs. It’s obviously been a very busy time for us since the Bit-isle expansion, and our market recognition has improved dramatically. We’ve been seen as a small to mid-sized foreign company in this data center market, but now we’re being recognized as a leader. The opening of TY5 following the Bit-isle acquisition reinforces this overall perception.
Learn more about Equinix data centers in Japan.