A Safe Bet: More and More Bandwidth
Eventually, I'm betting, even midsize enterprises will pay whatever it takes to seize control of the connectivity that is rapidly becoming their lifeblood. IT priorities will change and so will the way bandwidth is bought and sold.Even with detailed directions, Equinixs vast, new operations center is nearly impossible to find. Cleverly hidden in plain sight among warehouses, wholesale outlets and industrial parks in Secaucus, N.J., the building is so devoid of signage that I took its main entrance for a fire exit. But the Internet business exchange inside offers enough capacity and new services to redefine the way large enterprises access networks. Once through the door, a visitor is accompanied by an armed guard through sealed chambers, and even on a tour led by Jay Adelson, Equinixs founder and chief technology officer, a guard shadowed us at every step. The acres of co-location space are bathed in a dim, purple light so no customer can train a camera on a competitors space.
Why a high-tech Fort Knox? Because Equinix is where major backbone providersAT&T, Cable and Wireless, Genuity, Level Three, Qwest, Sprint and WorldCom/UUNetengage in the mating dance known as peering. Its where more than 25 Tier 2 ISPs, including every major telecom and several major cable players, plus at least eight of the largest content providers, are hard-wired into a massive bandwidth bazaar, enabling them to tap into any network or backbone at a moments notice.