Top 3 Metros in the U.S. Colocation Market

How Equinix is meeting continued strong demand for data center services in America

Chris Kimm

Digitization of every industry continues unabated across the globe, with the U.S. being no exception. In a recent survey of several hundred U.S. CEO’s, more than two-thirds said their digital transformation has been accelerated by months or even years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.[i] Disrupted market conditions drove these businesses to expand their digital infrastructures to support real-time interactions between people, places, things, services and data. In turn we’ve seen an increased demand for interconnection – the direct and secure exchange of traffic between key partners and providers. The Global Interconnection Index (GXI) Volume 4, a market study published by Equinix in October 2020, predicts that North America will account for the greatest share (41%) of the global interconnection bandwidth by 2023, reaching 6,615 Terabits per second (Tbps).

Interconnection happens in scale at distributed IT exchange points inside carrier-neutral colocation data centers. As these exchange points continue to grow the number and scale of interconnections, attracting new participants, they evolve into digital ecosystems of providers and enterprises, driving strong demand for colocation. According to IDC, 46% of U.S. enterprises already use 3rd party colocation facilities and 43% plan to within the next two years.[ii] And while many enterprises may initially shift to a colocation facility as part of downsizing in-house data centers or to accommodate systems with higher power densities and cooling requirements than their legacy data centers can readily house, the rich array of interconnection opportunities available is often the catalyst for new value creation.

IDC - Worldwide Colocation and Interconnection Services 2019 - 2020 Vendor Assessment

IDC recognized Equinix as a leader in colocation and interconnection services in this inaugural IDC MarketScape report. Read this competitive assessment of nine interconnection and colocation service vendors to complement your understanding of key benefits of critical infrastructure provider Equinix.

Read More

For a mature market like the U.S., this potential for new value creation is really exciting and suggests there is still plenty of room for growth. It’s why Equinix continues to invest in the market with ongoing expansions in our data centers and interconnection services such as Equinix FabricTM and Network Edge, new offerings such as Equinix MetalTM, and sandboxes for developing and testing artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G proofs of concept. The interconnection rich environments inside Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers make them ideal locations for proving and deploying all manner of digital infrastructure, delivering high performance end user experiences in secure mission critical environments.

According to CBRE, the primary U.S. data center metros are Northern Virginia, Dallas/Fort Worth, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Phoenix, New York/Tri-State and Atlanta.[iii] Here’s a closer look at what Equinix is doing in the top three:

Northern Virginia / Washington D.C.

Home to the “(Loudoun, VA) and the U.S. Federal government, including a large military and Research & Development (R&D) presence, Northern Virginia continues to lead any other metro in the world in colocation capacity and demand. According to CBRE, Northern Virginia accounts for nearly half (46.7%) of the current inventory and the lion’s share (64%) of new construction in the primary U.S. metros.iii

With one of the largest internet peering points in North America, the Equinix Washington D.C. International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers are a strategic communications hub for the eastern United States and a major gateway to Europe. Equinix invested more than $200 million in the region this year with the opening of two new IBX data centers, DC15 and DC21. With these additions, my IBX Operations team now operates sixteen DC area data centers. Densely interconnected across the metro area, the Equinix Washington D.C. IBX facilities house 195+ networks, 330+ cloud and IT services, 145+ financial services, 105+ content and digital media and 400+ enterprise customers. DC15 will also house Equinix’s new Co-Innovation Facility (CIF) where we work with customers, partners and suppliers to test new data center technologies and solutions.

Equinix Washington D.C. DC21 IBX data center

Equinix Washington D.C. DC12 IBX data center

Dallas / Fort Worth

The Dallas/Fort Worth region is the fourth largest metro in the U.S. and home to more than 25 Fortune 500 companies. It is also a major network peering exchange and communications hub for the U.S. South and a digital gateway connecting Mexico to the world. As a result, it’s no surprise that Dallas/Fort Worth comes in second with 347.4 MW of inventory (nearly 13% of the U.S. primary markets) and 15 MW under construction.iii

The Equinix Dallas metro consists of nine IBX data centers serving over 550 companies, including a high concentration of telecommunications carriers. Four of these IBX data centers are located within the Infomart Data Center™, the fifth most-interconnected data center in the U.S. With 135+ networks, 145+ cloud and IT services, 50+ financial services, 45+ content and digital media and 165+ enterprise customers, our Dallas IBX data centers interconnect industries such as banking, technology, energy and healthcare and more. Earlier this year, Equinix opened DA11, our ninth IBX data center in the metro representing a $142 million investment. DA11 is also home to our new 5G and Edge Proof of Concept Center (POCC) which will enable technology providers to test and validate new 5G and edge innovations.

Equinix Dallas DA11 IBX data center

Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is a hotspot for technology, software and engineering that incubated companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Netflix, Cisco and more. As such, it’s easy to see why it comes in third in CBRE’s report with over 10% of the U.S. primary market inventory (279.6 MW) and 24.6 MW under construction.iii

Our Silicon Valley IBX data centers enable over 700 companies to be part of a rich ecosystem of the content, social media, software and IT services that are driving and accelerating the digital economy. With 13 IBX data centers, Equinix has the largest retail colocation footprint and densest interconnectivity in the Silicon Valley region, with many mature business ecosystems to match customers with the right business partners. Equinix customers can interconnect directly to 130+ networks, 235+ cloud and IT services, 70+ financial services, 110+ content and digital media and 150+ enterprise customers in our Silicon Valley IBX data centers.

Equinix Silicon Valley SV10 IBX data center

To learn more about how Equinix is leading the industry, download the 2019-2020 IDC MarketScape for colocation and interconnection services and explore our global data centers.


You may also be interested in reading:

Strengthening the Heart of Digital Infrastructure (Washington D.C.)

Can Data Centers Have “That New Car Smell?” (Dallas)

How the Dallas Infomart is Shaping the Way Businesses Connect

North America to Consume 41% of the World’s Interconnection Bandwidth


[i] KPMG, 2020 U.S. CEO Outlook, 2020.

[ii] IDC, U.S. Enterprise Communications Survey, IDC, August, 2020 as cited in Market Analysis Perspective: U.S. Hosting and Colocation, 2020 presented by Courtney Munroe and Venkatesh Mahale, DocID Doc # US44792119, Sept 2020.

[iii] CBRE, 2021 U.S. Real Estate Market Outlook: Data Centers/Alternatives.

Subscribe to the Equinix Blog