Equinix D.C. Data Center Expands Capital Presence

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-05-28

Equinix D.C. Data Center Expands Capital Presence

Equinix, a global interconnection and data center company, announced the opening of its new Washington, D.C., data center known as DC11 at a major ceremony earlier this month.

The new data center at the Equinix campus in Ashburn, Va., adds to existing data center property on the site and makes the Ashburn campus the largest Equinix data center campus in the world and plays a significant role in the company's expanding global footprint, Raouf Abdel, regional operating chief for the Americas at Equinix, told eWEEK.

Abdel said the new DC11 data center provides access to the largest Internet exchange point in North America in terms traffic with more than 400G bps at peak traffic, and provides access to more than 200 networks, 140 cloud and IT service providers, and 100 content and digital media companies. It also offers connectivity to an ecosystem with more than 10,000 cross connects to existing customers and partners, and compliance with key federal regulations and industry standards such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and PCI.

The DC11 project represents about $79 million in capital expenditure, Abdel said, noting that the investment in the D.C. area is another indication of the growing demand for data center facilities.

The Washington, D.C., area plays a key role as a strategic hub for traffic exchange across the Eastern U.S. and as a communications gateway to Europe. To support growing network traffic in this area, Equinix opened its latest addition to its International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers, DC11. The DC11 data center is the eighth facility in the Washington, D.C., area since Equinix first established a presence here in 1999.

Abdel said Washington is an attractive area for data centers for several reasons, including its growing population with more than 5.8 million residents in the metro region. It also is a communications hub for the heavily populated U.S. East Coast and European markets, and has a high concentration of IT, telecommunications, biotechnology, federal government and international organizations in the area, he said.

"What differentiates us is the nature of being global with a depth and breadth and footprint," Abdel said. "We have a highly networked set of data centers that connect with each other. Embedded within our data centers is the ability to have customers connect with each other and transact like they couldn't otherwise."

DC11 adds more than 42,000 square feet for customer co-location, with 1,200 cabinets. Equinix has also secured 40 acres of land adjacent to DC10 that will allow for future expansion. In addition, DC11 offers state-of-the-art security, including perimeter fencing around the entire campus, guard house with controlled parking entry, man-trap entry, biometric hand-reader access, 24/7 guards and recorded CCTV monitors throughout the facilities, Abdel said.

Moreover, DC11 meets Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative mandates for efficiency. Customers who deploy networks here can receive certification and accreditation for a number of federal compliance frameworks, such as those mandated by the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and the Department of Defense's Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process.


Equinix D.C. Data Center Expands Capital Presence

DC11 also offers access to the five leading providers of the GSA Networx telecom services contract: AT&T, CenturyLink, Level 3 Communications, Sprint and Verizon. The Equinix Washington, D.C., campus features more than 10,000 cross connects and offers direct connections to nine advertising exchanges as well as Amazon Web Services.

Meanwhile, Equinix recently announced the availability of the AWS Direct Connect service in the Equinix IBX data centers in Seattle (SE2 and SE3). AWS Direct Connect enables customers to connect their infrastructure directly to Amazon Web Services (AWS), establishing a private network connection to reduce network costs, increase throughput and deliver more consistent network performance than the public Internet delivers, the company said.

In addition, Equinix customers can now connect to the AWS GovCloud from all existing AWS Direct Connect locations in North America. AWS GovCloud is designed to allow U.S. government agencies and customers to move more sensitive workloads into the cloud by addressing their specific regulatory and compliance requirements.

"By leveraging AWS Direct Connect inside Equinix data centers, customers can take advantage of the cost savings and performance benefits of hybrid environments," Chris Sharp, general manager of cloud and content for Equinix, said in a statement. "As we continue to support expansion of the AWS Direct Connect service to new markets, we are removing barriers to adoption and enabling customers to deliver on the promise of cloud computing."

Existing Equinix customers can connect to AWS Direct Connect inside the Seattle data centers via a simple cross-connect that can be established in a matter of days. With a direct connection to AWS inside SE2 and SE3, customers can achieve millisecond latency between their infrastructure and AWS infrastructure, resulting in improved application performance and security.

Since the rollout of AWS Direct Connect in Equinix's Ashburn, Va., data center campus, AWS Direct Connect has expanded to Equinix locations in Seattle, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. Equinix customers such as Badgeville, Box, Carpathia Hosting and NetApp are using AWS Direct Connect to lower network costs into and out of AWS, bypassing the public Internet to take advantage of reduced data transfer rates.

For instance, using AWS Direct Connect, Badgeville deployed a hybrid IT model within Equinix IBX data centers. As a result, Badgeville gained control of its own infrastructure and achieved performance increases of up to 40 percent, faster API response times and a reduction in monthly cloud expenditure of approximately 40 percent.

Equinix opened its second Seattle data center (SE3) earlier this year to support growing demand for data center and interconnection services in the Seattle metro area from network and cloud service providers, and content and digital media companies. The SE3 IBX serves as a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region and offers customers the opportunity to extend their footprints in the Northwestern United States and Western Canada while leveraging Platform Equinix to help fuel their business.

"As the cloud matures and supports greater numbers of mission-critical production workloads, data center providers like Equinix will be viewed increasingly as the strategic facilitators of enterprise-class production services," Jim Grogan, senior analyst on multi-tenant data centers at 451 Research, said in a statement. "Each aspect of the cloud services facilitated by Equinix ultimately maps back to network capabilities, whether it relates to bringing data to the network or leveraging cloud or Ethernet connection hubs."


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