October 2021 will mark Equinix’s history in the Americas: we inaugurated our first hyperscale data center in the region, located in São Paulo, Brazil. With a capacity of 5 megawatts in its first phase, and 14.4 MW once all phases are complete, SP5x is the company’s seventh data center in the country. We estimate to invest, in total, approximately US$116.4 million in SP5x once the facility is complete.
Our investments, both in the Americas and worldwide, meet immediate market and customer demands, and Latin American countries are strategic for hyperscale growth. SP5x is our first hyperscale data center—we call them xScale™ —but it won’t be the only one in the region. We already have three more sites confirmed for the coming years— two in Brazil, in the city of São Paulo, and one in Mexico, in Mexico City. Both metros have intense concentration of companies investing in the digital transformation of their operations.
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Hyperscale data centers are relatively new and meet a specific demand. It can be defined as a type of wholesale colocation designed to meet the technical, operational and pricing requirements of companies such as Amazon Web Services, Alibaba, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft. These tech giants demand huge amounts of space and energy to support the immense scaling across thousands of servers for cloud tasks, big data analytics or storage, with 10, 20, 50 megawatts of power.
As you can imagine, these companies grow at the speed of 100-meter races. According to recent data from Synergy Research Group [i], the number of data centers in the world operated by hyperscale providers follows an upward line and more than doubled between 2016 and 2021, reaching 659 in the second quarter of the year.
xScale looks like simple wholesale colocation, but it’s not
At first glance, xScale can be confused with a wholesale colocation, where the customer also needs considerable storage space. In this model, it “rents” the space and uses its own resources to build the infrastructure needed: from cabinets to hiring the team responsible for project execution and management. However, wholesale colocation and xScale differ in two fundamental ways:
- All xScale data centers are located close to Equinix IBX® data centers, i.e. our retail facilities. In Brazil, SP5x is very close to three of them and is connected via network node, enabling hyperscale companies to connect to Platform Equinix® and instantly access more than 10,000 partners and customers in more than 60 metros globally, making it able to collaborate, exchange services and data and foster innovation.
- As a second differentiator, hyperscalers can offer better performance and even lower latency to your current and potential customers that are present in Platform Equinix. These companies, in turn, benefit from the opportunity for direct interconnection in close proximity to these providers.
Investments continue in Latin America with no sign of deceleration
A few months ago, the President of Equinix for the Americas, Jon Lin, published a blog post stating that in the past 10 years we’ve been in Latin America, we have already invested US$ 1 billion in acquisitions and expansions in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, and that we have no plans to slow down. The inauguration of the first phase of SP5x is proof of the seriousness of this statement.
Will we slow down now? Certainly not. SP5x is one of 32 hyperscale data centers planned in a joint venture signed with GIC, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, with an investment of US$ 6.9 billion and presence in countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
More business and choice opportunities
Connecting on the edge to cloud providers is one of the main requirements for success in the digital economy for any company, enabling remote services, artificial intelligence solutions, internet of things, big data and analytics.
In recent years, the world’s largest cloud providers, their customers and network providers have found Equinix to be a trusted partner to expand their reach and deliver excellent experiences. In addition to providing massive amounts of space and power in high-growth regions of demand for cloud services, our xScale data centers now also act as pillars for our ecosystem of more than 2,950 cloud and IT service providers. To give you an idea, Platform Equinix accounts for more than 40% of private accesses to leading global cloud service providers, a higher percentage than any other provider.
In recognition of Equinix’s innovative positioning in the industry in launching xScale, we were awarded the 2021 Datacloud Global Award for the Data Center Provider of the Year [ii] from BroadGroup™.
So, with the addition of hyperscale to our portfolio in the Americas, our focus remains on customers. xScale data centers are yet another path for you to choose to simplify and streamline your rapid growth in all parts of the globe.