Equinix nears 100 global data centers

Equinix opened its newest data center in Hong Kong on Wednesday, as it banks on its global platform ecosystem strategy to compete in the increasingly contested data center space.

The new International Business Exchange (IBX) data center, dubbed HK2, is Equinix’s second such site in Hong Kong, and 11th in Asia-Pacific. The first phase of HK2 – which entails an investment of $20 million (€14.7 million) – will provide 450 cabinet equivalents, expanding to 1,450 at full build-out, at a total investment of $63 million. Networks operating within HK2 include PCCW and Wharf T&T.

HK2 will offer Equinix services including co-location, interconnection and peering, and direct cross connect between networks, as well as the company’s recently launched Marketplace, which aims to simplify the process of finding potential partners within the Equinix ecosystem.

Hong Kong is already a hot spot for data center activity for local, regional and global players due to its role as a key hub for internet connectivity and the financial sector. Equinix says HK2 was built to meet the increasing demand for premium co-location and interconnection data center services, particularly from financial services organizations and cloud service providers.

Equinix Asia-Pacific president Samuel Lee says Equinix’s key differentiator against carriers like Pacnet and OTT players like Google  – which have been ramping up their data center strategies across Asia recently – is its “Platform Equinix” strategy that builds on Equinix’s exchange model and its ecosystem of partners focusing on vertical market segments such as financial services and digital media.

“Not all data centers are the same,” Lee said. “We’ve built up our ecosystem by picking our partners and customers carefully. They come to us because their business partners are in our shelf, and they want to connect with them and cut down latency. We don’t want to sign a big deal where the customer buys up a lot of rack space but adds no value to the ecosystem.”

HK2 is the third new IBX data center to be opened by Equinix in the Asia-Pacific region this year as part of its plans to expand “Platform Equinix” in the region. Earlier this year the company opened IBX data centers in Sydney and Tokyo – the firm’s third IBX facilities in both cities. The company also has two data centers in Singapore and another in Shanghai via a partnership with Shanghai Data Solution (SDS).

The HK2 facility brings Equinix’s global footprint to 99 data centers in 38 markets. Lee said that Equinix is also looking at building new data centers in Mumbai, Melbourne and Osaka.