How an Internet Exchange Brings the Cloud Closer to You

Sami Holopainen


What could the history of ancient Rome have to say to companies looking to handle today’s surge in data traffic while best exploiting the computing resources available in the cloud? One answer is found in its roads.

The Romans worked to connect even the most remote areas of the state with roads that made it easier to reach other people, do business, and move goods. In fact, more the 250,000 miles of road connected Rome to its outposts all over the ancient world.

Today, the digital world is building that same kind of ubiquitous interconnection. Its Roman roads are network cables that facilitate business across borders and continents, carrying more traffic than ever between enterprises, end users, and the clouds that have become such critical parts of the enterprise IT infrastructure. The cloud has fundamentally changed the way people and companies interact. There’s an old joke that “cloud is just a bunch of other people’s computers.” But in reality, it is much more than that.

Coming to a cloud near you

The cloud may seem like it’s everywhere today, but there actually aren’t many places in the world that gather all the most important networks for interconnection with cloud providers and other companies who want to link to them. Those places are Internet Exchanges, and Equinix has now 23 of them, together forming a global platform for businesses and people to interconnect. Equinix’s latest Internet Exchange was established this fall in Helsinki, Finland, and will open for business in Q1 2017. Finland is an excellent location for many reasons:

  • Data centers need two things more than an anything else: cooling and affordable energy. Finland has both in spades
  • The country sits strategically between the East and the West, providing quick connection from Central Europe to the vast Asian market
  • Finland has many innovative companies and a highly educated workforce

In a speech at the inaugural event of Helsinki’s new Internet Exchange, Equinix’s EMEA president Eric Schwartz said the success of the digital economy is based on interconnection: The more places there are for people and companies to connect, the greater the flow of information. And the higher the quality of that interconnection, the more it benefits the businesses that depend on it. Internet Exchanges allow networks to directly interconnect, which means faster connections.

Typically, if a company needs to send data to someone who is in a different network, the information may be routed through another city in another country, even though their networks are in the same city. This can create serious lags. If, however, there is an Internet Exchange in the same location as the networks, they can directly connect, and response times are fast. An Internet Exchange really does bring the cloud closer to you. And in today’s digital world, closer interconnection is superior interconnection.

Read why Equinix is the Home of the Interconnected Cloud.