Perth accelerates digital infrastructure in Australia

Equinix’s new PE3 will extend the digital edge for Australia and beyond

Guy Danskine

Despite what may feel like a tumultuous time globally, government and business leaders around the world continue to look for international opportunities for digital collaboration and trade, such as the recently signed Digital Economy Agreement between Australia and Singapore.[i] To make digital plans such as these a reality, it is vital that the right infrastructure and low-latency connectivity are in place.

Enter Perth – The Western Australia city has emerged as a key gateway for digital expansion and collaboration.

As Australia’s only capital city on the Indian Ocean Rim, Perth is situated within the world’s most populous time zone and is closer to crucial markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East than Sydney.[ii] It’s ideally located to support the region’s dominant mining and resources industries and is fast becoming a travel, logistical and digital gateway between Australia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Now Perth is about to see even greater investment as Australia’s digital gateway to the world, further deepening its role as the western nerve center of Australia’s digital infrastructure. Today we announce the forthcoming launch of our third International Business ExchangeTM (IBX®) data center in the city, dubbed PE3.

Why Choose Perth Data Centers?

Built to Equinix global design standards with direct connection to key subsea cables, the new PE3 data center will provide services ideal to support a wide range of companies.

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Since Equinix began operating in the Perth market in 2018, we have only seen increasing interest in this market from global cloud, network and over-the-top (OTT) providers with the launch of a new submarine cable, as well as continued growth from the government and natural resources sectors.

Our PE2 Perth data center is recognized as one of the most dense network-neutral hubs in Perth providing cross-country fiber connectivity options and diverse domestic network paths to a number of cities. PE3 will further extend the digital edge and help meet rapidly swelling demand for low-latency networking capabilities.

Here’s why this matters for businesses, both locally and globally.

Perth and PE3 as conduits for growth

Timing is critical. An independent survey commissioned by Equinix found 48% of Australian organizations are expanding into new regions, countries or metros, with 73% planning to use virtual connections to support their expansions.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout have hastened those trends. The Global Interconnection Index Volume 4 (GXI Vol. 4), a market study published by Equinix, indicates a surge in private network interconnection demand. It’s no surprise given how many businesses are now fast-tracking digital transformation to support customers, remote employees and budgets that demand more from less.

Many businesses were already realizing the competitive advantage of emerging technology like the internet of things (IoT), augmented reality (AR) and AI. Now, as businesses quickly acclimate to digital solutions for business continuity, supply chain resilience, customer service and employee experiences, these technologies are likely to play bigger roles faster than anticipated. That will mean a demand for high-bandwidth digital infrastructure and connections to multiple ecosystems at the digital edge.

Taking business to the edge

PE3 will be Equinix’s eighteenth data center in Australia and our third in Perth as we continue to build a diverse ecosystem of carriers and direct access to cloud providers. It’s an important expansion with countless businesses looking to digitize more of their operations, expand into new markets and increasingly turning to hybrid multicloud infrastructure.

With direct connectivity to subsea cables (ASC and Indigo Cable), the Equinix Perth campus delivers high-speed, low-latency connectivity, enabling companies with significant local operations — such as Equinix customer BHP, or Zettagrid — to further expand and grow their business in Asia and beyond, and international companies to enter Australia via Perth.

The expanded capacity via PE3 will be a boon for international network service providers and OTT streaming and gaming services who currently enter Australia via Sydney, with a second path for redundancy and a faster route to Asia. The time for data traffic to travel between Perth and Singapore is roughly half that of Sydney to Singapore.

The PE3 IBX will provide a wide range of interconnection solutions, including Equinix FabricTM — formerly Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric. Equinix Fabric is an on-demand, SDN-enabled interconnection service that allows any business to connect between its own distributed infrastructure and any other company’s distributed infrastructure, including the world’s largest network service and cloud providers on Platform Equinix.

PE3 customers in Perth will be able to set up direct connectivity with international and local cloud service providers across Australia including Alibaba, AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, SAP Cloud and SoftLayer, as well as major network service providers, such as Telstra, Optus and Vocus. This rich ecosystem will enable Equinix to further support the burgeoning growth of the mining, oil and gas resources sector and the expansion of global hyperscalers, carriers and content providers in the region.

In terms of what this looks like in practice, the facility itself will sit just over 20 kilometers from the Perth Airport and adjacent to the PE2 IBX, with a dedicated secure link bridge connecting the two data centers. It will eventually house 1,650 cabinets and colocation space of more than 10,600 square meters. When the facility opens, Equinix will have a national footprint of 18 IBX data centers across Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane, with three in Perth, offering a total capacity of more than 2,590 cabinets in the market.

With many digital leaders training their sights on post-pandemic growth, both digital transformation and expansion into Asia-Pacific will be critical for fostering wider recovery in a variety of countries and industries. That’s just what Equinix PE3 will support as businesses move to the edge — and not a moment too soon.

[i] Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment (2020). Media Release: Australia and Singapore Sign Digital Trade Agreement

[ii] City of Perth (2016). Perth city prospectus

PE3 will be Equinix’s eighteenth data center in Australia and our third in Perth.