Sunday, October 22, 2017

Equinix proves Brexit wrong with acquisition of British data centre hub

Increasing data traffic in the UK and need for interconnections leads to investment to facilitate the movement of data worldwide.

Equinix’s fierce expansion plans led the company to buy a data centre in London, the eight in the British capital, as demand for digital infrastructure connectivity continues to increase despite Brexit.

The facility located in Slough was purchased from IO UK who had opened the data centre less than two years ago, in June 2015.

The data centre will be renamed LD10 and will join three other Equinix data centres in Slough (LD4, LD5 and LD6). Financial details have not been disclosed.

IO’s Slough data centre, soon to be re-branded as Equinix LD10 IBX. Source: IO

The data centre sits in a piece-of-land measuring 4.91 aces. The shell has a total floor area of 112,000 sqf of which 43,670 sqf are being used as colocation space. The remaining space corresponds to offices (12,805 sqf) and other areas as well as space for further expansion of the server halls.

The IT load reaches up to 9.6 MW and cooling is done though air cooled chillers. The facility adds approximately 350 cabinets of sold capacity to Equinix’s portfolio and a total colocation space of approximately 3,340 cabinets once the facility is completely built out.

For the period to December 31, 2015, which is the last fully reported financial period, IO UK generated revenues of approximately $1.4m.

The acquisition agreement was signed on January 7, 2017 and the acquisition was completed on February 3, 2017.

The Slough campus has a latency of 30 milliseconds to New York and 4 milliseconds to Frankfurt.

Equinix said the hub will help to address growing market demand in the UK and the EMEA region. According to TechUK, the UK accounts for 11.5% of global cross-border data flows in 2015, compared with 3.9% of global GDP and 0.9% of global population.

Cross-border data flows for the UK increased 28 times between 2005 and 2015 and are expected to grow another 5 times through 2021.

With this transaction Equinix now operates 147 IBX data centres in 40 markets. This will soon top over 175 facilities in 43 markets once the $3.6bn acquisition of Verizon’s data centres in the Americas is finalised.

Eric Schwartz, EMEA president of Equinix, said: “London remains a global economic engine, with leading enterprises and cloud service providers making it a primary hub for IT infrastructure.

“Adding additional interconnection and capacity in this market enables local and international customers to leverage Platform Equinix to meet their changing business needs – whether that is to connect to networks, clouds, or financial markets – Equinix is the place to be.”

Speaking to Data Economy, James Maudslay, global head for insurance at Equinix, said the “Equinix empire” focus for 2017 is about showing the concept of interconnection, explaining the edge, the IoT, and other trends impacting the market.

He said: “We started about 18/24 months ago, to look much more directly at the concept of interconnection. The company has always been about connecting partners together.

“Originally it was the fiber networks in the US and elsewhere to connect them together so they could pass data between them.

“Then it matured to other things and especially in the financial services and foreign exchange markets where we have this very substantial system in London, New York and Tokyo, for example.”

He said that what has happened is that the “advent of new types of technologies such as the cloud” has meant that people had to refocus what they can do with these things.

“As a result, which we are looking very heavily at this concept of interconnection, or what we have called, the interconnection oriented architecture.

“The idea of that being a fundamental in the digital age which we believe we are heading to very quickly.”