Taking the Grand Internet Exchange Tour

Brenden Rawle
Taking the Grand Internet Exchange Tour

Here at Equinix, we have been deeply involved in the world of internet peering and internet exchanges since the birth of our company nearly 20 years ago. The community and the market established by our core network and internet service provider (NSP and ISP) customers, in the formative years between 1998 – 2000, was the original digital ecosystem that helped power our business and it remains a foundational element of Equinix today. From a fledgling start in some key U.S. metro locations, the Equinix Internet Exchange™ (IX) and its associated NSP/ISP peering ecosystem have grown to span almost all corners of our business around the world, and continues to expand and evolve in our global Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers.

In two previous blog articles, we tracked some of the architectural changes that are driving internet peering in the new digital economy. We have seen how the need for a greater quality of user experience (QoE) in the internet is driving greater geographic performance, scalability and reliability, and how it is also pushing a “multi-IX” model in major metro locations. These trends are part of the wider digital transformation that is driving today’s digital businesses’ growing dependence on interconnection. For example, according to the recent market study, the Global Interconnection Index published by Equinix, direct, private interconnection between businesses is expected to grow 45% annually to more than 5,000 terabits (Tbps) of installed bandwidth capacity by 2020 – this is 2X faster than global IP traffic growth!


Driven by this escalating demand, service providers and enterprises are asking for multiple ways to connect. Perhaps most importantly, our customers are looking for a consistent global offering that delivers quality and consistency hand-in-hand. These growing requirements are the reason we are excited to launch a range of new locations for the Equinix IX, with a program of growth through 2018 that meets the increasing customer demand by placing the Internet Exchange in every major metro area globally.

EMEA leads the way

Equinix Helsinki (HE6)

Across EMEA, we are in the middle of an ambitious rollout for the Equinix IX that will see a total of seven new metros ready for service now and an eighth to come on board before the middle of the year. Our first stop takes us north to one of the most interesting and dynamic metros in the region, one that is at the crossroads of a number of connectivity and content trends and is booming accordingly: Helsinki. Bridging Russia, the Baltic and Europe, Helsinki is a true gateway metro, as well as a technology start-up hub. Eighty percent of all internet traffic between Western Europe and Russia goes through Helsinki. Part of this development is due to the rapid build-up of subsea cables. In the last 18 months, two huge projects have terminated brand new cable systems into the Equinix Helsinki locations, including C-Lion to Frankfurt and Eastern Light to Stockholm. With this high-speed connectivity, and major content and gaming providers using Equinix Helsinki as a jump-off point for the huge Russian market, the metro is buzzing. A new, super-scalable Internet Exchange is needed to expand peering capabilities at the digital edge in this region, enabling service providers to operate more efficiently and improving performance, while reducing cost.


Equinix London (LD10)

Elsewhere in EMEA, the most mature peering markets are in super-hubs such as Frankfurt and London, where the appetite for interconnection bandwidth is nearly insatiable. Even at this early stage, we see major eyeball and content providers starting to drive the multi-IX strategy with plans to deploy 100G ports on the new Equinix exchanges. According to the Global Interconnection Index, Europe’s Interconnection Bandwidth is expected to grow 44% annum to reach an estimated 1,450+ Tbps by 2020, contributing more than 29% of the total installed Interconnection Bandwidth capacity globally.


Equinix Milan (ML2)

Over in Milan, the Equinix IX is up and running in one of the most complex peering ecosystems in the region. Students of the EMEA peering scene will know that the Italian NSP community operates in a super-centralized “Docklands” model in and around the Via Caldera area. Equinix is committed to helping drive new digital architectures in this region and we are doing that in two ways. First, we are working to satisfy the strong demand for alternative IX options away from Via Caldera, and Equinix sites in Milan can easily do that. However, there is also demand for alternate IX options within Via Caldera, so we have deployed Equinix IX platforms inside partner locations. This shows that Equinix is committed to solving long-term interconnection challenges, even when the answer may be outside of an Equinix IBX data center.

South America

Equinix São Paulo (SP3)

For the next part of our tour, we’ll jump across the Atlantic to one of the most interesting metros in the Equinix portfolio: São Paulo (SP), Brazil. Equinix serves around 1,600 customers in Brazil covering colocation, connectivity and managed services. When we turn our attention to internet traffic, Equinix is the primary destination for NSPs to meet and peer, with over 70% of all internet traffic in Brazil passing through our data centers. The SP3 IBX data center is the most modern carrier-class facility available in all of South America, and SP4 is the most important internet exchange point in the region, given its dense business and service provider ecosystems. Into this complex dynamic, the Equinix Internet Exchange is open for business with services available in SP4, with SP1-3 due to come online in early 2018. Alongside our own IX platform we continue to host and support our partner IX.br as we have done for many years. IX.br is available as an IX offering in all four São Paulo Equinix locations. Equinix and IX.br work side-by-side in this vibrant metro to provide the multi-IX model that will be required for resilient content and internet services going forward.


North America

Equinix Miami (MI3)

Jumping to North America, the U.S.-Brazil route is an increasingly busy internet path, as more businesses require and deploy greater connectivity between these two thriving markets, increasing the digital business gravity between the two regions. Given increased demand in 2017, the new MONET subsea cable between São Paulo and Miami went live and is terminated in the U.S. by Google inside the MI3 IBX data center. MONET has heralded the start of a new boom for an increasing amount of content aggregation and peering in the Miami metro.

We see Miami growing as a major hub in the coming years, with much of the focus being around MI1. Miami has always been a content and peering hub, solidifying its position as the primary meeting place for North and South American internet and content traffic.


Interconnection Powering Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is lowering the barriers to entry for many carriers and service providers and helps them reach their customers in an omnichannel model across new markets and geographies. Organizations with global ambitions need global partners and a high-performance, reliable and scalable interconnection platform to directly and securely exchange traffic. The Equinix Internet Exchange gives them:

  • Global consistency: We have the most extensive IX footprint in the world. Global peers can leverage a single solution that scales across all metros where they do business.
  • Lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and better scalability: We are focused on enabling peering directly in a data center campus as opposed to throughout a metro. IX is part of Equinix’s broader peering enablement capability that allows customers to efficiently handle IP traffic as that traffic scales.
  • IX choice and redundancy: Our customers value choice in IXs in a given metro and also leverage the ability to deploy on diverse IX platforms in a single market for redundancy purposes. We will continue to support connectivity options that will help drive successful ecosystem development across our IBX footprint.

Equinix IX is live today in EMEA, with brand new locations in London, Manchester, Frankfurt, Dublin, Stockholm, Helsinki and Milan. Amsterdam will be live in Q2 CY18. These sites are in addition to our mature locations in Paris, Warsaw (PLIX) and Switzerland. In the Americas, we are adding to our long list of locations with new sites in Q1 CY18 at Denver, Houston, Bogota and São Paulo.

With the new expanded Equinix Internet Exchange markets coming online, we aim to be where your business is today and tomorrow, offering quality and choice and supporting internet growth in the same way we have since we started this journey nearly 20 years ago.

For more information, download our Equinix Internet Exchange data sheet.

Also, check out our white paper, “A Resilient Internet Peering Architecture for EMEA.

Subscribe to the Equinix Blog